New school extension opens in Balrothery

New school extension opens in Balrothery

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SCOIL Aonghusa Senior National School in Balrothery officially opened their new school extension last week, which has been named after the school’s former principal, Theresa Clarke.

Ms Clarke started teaching in the school in 1981, she then became principal of the school in 2006 and retired in 2016.

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Ms Clarke had the honour of cutting the ribbon on the extension, which has been named The Clarke Wing, following Bishop Eamonn Walsh’s blessing of the building at the opening ceremony.

Speaking to The Echo, Ms Clarke said: “It was very touching, I feel very thankful and grateful to the school community.

“It’s an honour, and it makes me feel that I’m still a part of the school community.

“[The school] feels just like home to me. It never felt like work.”

The extension will provide the school, which has 209 students and 19 teachers, with one new mainstream classroom and four special education rooms.

Principal Michele Hamilton told The Echo: “The kids are really going to benefit from the new extension.

“The ceilings are higher, the classrooms are brighter, and we now have four resource rooms so teachers will have more room for students who need extra help.”

Ms Hamilton added: “The school’s Board of Management decided to name the building after Ms Clarke in appreciation and recognition of her hard work and dedication.”

The school first opened its doors in 1977 at a time when the Tallaght area was undergoing rapid development, and the school’s student numbers have continued to grow, which is what prompted the construction of the extension.

Looking to the future of the school, Ms Hamilton said: “This new building symbolises a renewed energy for the school, and we want to maintain that energy.”