Rena with her family, teaching staff, Board of Management members and former pupil and teacher at Courtenay Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD. — Rena Culhane Retirement from Courtenay NS Newcastle West — Photo by George Daly

On Monday last staff, pupils, friends and family of Rena Culhane gathered for a thanksgiving Mass in the Church, Newcastle West. This special occasion marked the retirement of Mrs. Culhane as Principal of Courtenay Boys National School.
Rena Culhane began her teaching career in Waterford. Following her time there she returned home and has worked in the Courtenay school since September 1987. She taught many classes in the school but is most remembered for the years she spent in the special classes. Rena became Principal in 2001, and through the 15 years of her stewardship as Principal, the school has continued to grow and flourish. Rena has been a commanding presence in the school, always encouraging both staff and pupils to reach their full potential. She has been a wonderful role model, mentor and friend. Her cheery disposition and welcoming personality marked the Courtenay as a place of inclusion and warmth. Her energy and enthusiasm was infectious. She make time to listen, travelled to sports events to cheer on school teams and spearheaded new curriculum initiatives.
The Mass of thanksgiving last Monday was attended by all the pupils and staff of the school, members of the Board of Management, Parents Council, past pupils and staff and many parishioners and friends. A reception and assembly was held in the school afterwards to mark this special occasion.
Rena was joined by her husband Tommy, her daughters Aoife and Kathryn and other family members. Her son Michael, an engineer working in the UK, phoned with best wishes to all!
All are in agreement that Rena will be sadly missed but she has promised to visit often! We wish her many years of health and happiness as she embraces the next phase of her life. Guímid go léir gach rath uirthi.
The school community welcomes the appointment of Mr. Kelly as new Principal of Courtenay school and we wish him well in his new appointment.