03 Dec 2021

Joy as student leaders chosen and Alumna honoured at Loreto Kilkenny


The Loreto community celebrates 200 years of Loreto education in Ireland, this year, and the Frances Teresa Ball Bicentenary.

As part of the special year, Kilkenny’s Loreto Secondary School has taken inspiration from the founder of the order, Mary Ward, who said that ‘women, in time to come, will do much’.

The school has introduced a new student leadership role, that of Ethos student leaders, into the school community. For the 2021/22 academic year, this role is for sixth year students who will work on building the role in the school.

For the 2022/23 academic year, students in second, fourth and sixth years will form the leadership group and the long-term plan is that each year in the school will have Ethos student leaders.
For this inaugural year, the first team of Ethos prefects have selected the theme of ‘Joy’ to highlight the many moments of joy all experience in their day-to-day lives at the school.

Joy, as well as each of the other Mary Ward Charisms - Truth, Justice, Sincerity and Freedom - are a part of the lived experience in Loreto Kilkenny.

A special ceremony was held in the school recently to launch the programme. Special guests were Monsignor Dan Cavanagh and Dr Elaine McDonald.

Principal Colm Keher with Loreto Alumna recipient Dr Elaine McDonald

All pictures: Harry Reid

Alumna Award
Past pupil, Dr Elaine McDonald, was also awarded the Hall of Fame award on her visit to Loreto Kilkenny, for her outstanding academic work and doctoral studies carried out on the history of Loreto Education in Ireland.

The purpose of this award is to acknowledge the achievements of Loreto past pupils and the contributions they have made to society.

It also gives the present students with role models, and examples of Loreto past pupils, who are living out the Mary Ward prophesy that ‘women in time to come will do much’.

Dr Elaine McDonald was a student of Loreto Kilkenny in the 1980s, during which time she showed much early promise and, most significantly, developed her love for Loreto education and her connection to the Mary Ward story.

It is no surprise that she herself excelled as a teacher and through her service to the Loreto Order, continued to deepen her love and knowledge of Loreto education.

Gifted Academic
Elaine is a gifted academic, and she made a fantastic contribution to the preservation of the Loreto philosophy of education by carrying out her doctoral thesis on the history of Loreto education in Ireland.

After a number of years teaching in second-level schools, Elaine joined the staff of what is now Dublin City University, focusing on the area of teacher education.

Dr McDonald is now the head of the school of Policy and Practice in DCU. This role gives her the opportunity to provide great leadership and to help shape the future path of Irish education.
“We are delighted that someone in such an important position of leadership within Irish education is one of our own,” said principal Colm Keher. “She is bringing great honour and distinction to her beloved alma mater, Loreto Kilkenny.”

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