Waterpark College former principal and teacher retires

Mr. Maurice O’Connor presented with a Waterford Crystal Lamp to mark his retirement by Mr. Pat White, Chairperson, Board of Management, accompanied by Tom Beecher Principal and members of the teaching staff.

Mr. Maurice O’Connor presented with a Waterford Crystal Lamp to mark his retirement by Mr. Pat White, Chairperson, Board of Management, accompanied by Tom Beecher Principal and members of the teaching staff.

Retirement – Mr. Maurice O’Connor, former principal and teacher at

The Board of Management, Parents Council, Teaching and Ancillary Staff of Waterpark College paid tribute to Maurice O’Connor at his retirement function in Beckett’s Restaurant, Dunmore Road. A most enjoyable evening recalled Maurice’s career both at Mullingar CBS, and Waterpark College.

Mr. Pat White, Chairperson, Board of Management, in his address outlined the fact that Maurice O’Connor was the first Lay Principal to be appointed at Waterpark College in 1986. At that time the transition from a religious to lay management structure was effectively managed by the newly appointed Principal.

An innovative approach to curricular development was adapted with the introduction of the Transition Year Programme, a Co-educational Repeat Leaving Certificate Programme, and the assimilation of Spanish students.

Having completed a regular term as Principal, Maurice returned to his first love as a Teacher and member of the in-school management team in 1990. As Head of the Mathematics Department his affinity with the subject and his students established a professional rapport and bond that proved outstandingly beneficial to his charges. His subject portfolio included Physics, Science and Information Technology. His teaching style typified that of the Master Educator, surrounded at a science bench by his students eagerly participating at an experiment, and nourished at the foundation of knowledge. This teaching style was participative, engaging and highly effective. His good humoured approach to his work, and bonhomie cultivated positive optics and atmospherics both within and without the classroom.

Maurice was held in high regard by a legion of students over a twenty one year teaching career at Waterpark, and acted generously as mentor to one and all.

His interactions with colleagues on a personal and professional basis was always of the highest calibre, as was his association with Parents and Guardians.

Maurice’s retirement in 2008 after a long and distinguished career was well deserved, and the Waterpark Community was particularly pleased that his caring duties for his wife Rose, as a devoted husband could receive his unfailing attention. Additionally, it was hoped that his hobbies of boating, fishing and golfing would continue to give him pleasure and enjoyment over a long and happy retirement.

Pat White presented Maurice with a Waterford Crystal Lamp on behalf of the Board of Management in appreciation of his loyalty, commitment and service to Waterpark College.

Isabella Evans, Pat English, Paul Wheatley, Tom Beecher, and other members of the teaching staff paid tribute to Maurice and presented retirement gifts along with the customary cake. Jacqueline Sweeney and Grace Kiersey made presentations on behalf of the Parents Council. Having accepted such lavish praise, Maurice rose to his feet and regaled the audience with anecdotal wit, recalling events and occasions over his long career. His philosophy on life and living was honed from the rock of experience, but as ever was light-hearted, provocative, and laced with good humour.

 

The evening’s enjoyment reflected Maurice’s happy approach to life, which will continue through his retirement, with laughter and joy as the antidote to any of life’s little obstacles. The bonds established at Waterpark College will endure as the happy days of retirement roll along.

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