Stephen Maher, Principal of Loughmore NS, announced his retirement in October 2011, after over 36 years teaching in the school. It was his first and only permanent post after completing his teacher training in Marino College in Dublin.
Stephen joined the staff of Loughmore National School in July 1975 and became Principal in 1988 following the retirement of Mrs Peggy Gleeson. During his time here he witnessed and was successful in many ways in upgrading and providing the excellent facilities which the school now enjoys including the new extension, consisting of three classrooms with en-suite toilets. Computers were purchased and subsequently interactive whiteboards, projectors, visualisers, plus laptops in every class room. A new playing field was purchased, a shelter in the yard was erected, a tarmac area was laid out and dressing rooms provided. These are but a few of the developments led by Stephen during his tenure as Principal of Loughmore N.S.
Stephen enjoyed an excellent relationship with all his staff and pupils. He was a pleasure to work with and one was always greeted in the morning with a very welcoming and friendly “Good Morning”, always calling you by name. While strict in his teaching and discipline the pupils were always at ease in ‘Sir’’s (as he was affectionately known) presence, even to the point where they could joke and laugh with him, especially the senior pupils.
It was not only in teaching that he excelled, but also in the coaching of his pupils in many sports. Because of his dedication in the training of the pupils in the various sports, the school and parish developed a very high reputation and won many prestigious awards. He witnessed his past pupils on many occasions bring back winning trophies, from County Final Cups to All-Ireland Cups in hurling, football and Camogie at all levels. It was only in the past 8 – 9 years that the school took part in the Camogie Cumann na mBunscol championships. Here too the school won its first ever County Final in Semple Stadium in 2007. On these happy occasions he always encouraged the younger generation to maintain the high standards achieved by their predecessors. Stephen will return to the school for a few hours every week to assist in coaching the children. For this we are extremely grateful.
Stephen fostered the cultural traditions in the parish by providing tuition in the arts, music, dance and ceramics for the pupils. All of this was intended to give the pupils of Loughmore N.S. the widest range of activities and skills to develop well rounded personalities. We can be assured that his wise advice will continue to be made available to the school.
His retirement was marked with a small party held in the school on his last day, Friday 28th October. Nina Scott acted as M.C., and pupils from each class were introduced and performed a little party piece. He was presented with some gifts in memory of his nearly 37 years spent in the school, and a novelty cake made by Therese Cullen to fit the occasion. Nina reminded the children of what the school was like when Mr. Maher first came here. Leona Doyle put a DVD together, going down memory lane with lots of photographs of past pupils and events. It was so well put together that many present expressed an interest in getting a copy. Many of the parents attended as did Monsignor Dooley, Fr. Corbett, past members of staff and past pupils. Stephen thanked all the staff individually. He thanked Monsignor Dooley for all his help over the years and Fr. Corbett. He welcomed everybody and recalled his many happy years in the school. The evening ended with a nice cup of tea and some confectionery. A very enjoyable afternoon was had by all. We wish Stephen every happiness and good health in his retirement and hope he enjoys every minute of it.
Mrs Angela Dunne, Templemore (née Goldsboro, Ballingarry, Thurles) was appointed new Principal and took up her position on November 1st, 2011.