I still remember when I first walked through the doors of Father Whelihan as principal in August last year.It was one filled with anticipation because I was once a teacher here many years ago. When I left to go into administration, I left a school that was full of joy, laughter, and love.My heart is full because these feelings still strongly resonate within our school today.
I once read a quote with such a powerful message.The message was simple, it said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”.This school year comes nothing short of extraordinary and we can all agree that the end of the year has truly taken our breath away. Ending the school year under the umbrella of COVID 19 has been a heartbreak for all.There were so many rites of passage that we have all missed due to the pandemic.However, each one of us have grown in ways that we have never expected.
I have come to understand that our families, staff, and students of Father Whelihan can make the most of anything that comes our way.Families are growing together, doing things together and getting stronger together.People tell me that they are using this gift of time to spend with their loved ones.This time is experienced differently in every household.Some moms are joining their daughters in their zoom dance classes.Families are taking long walks, going on their bicycles to explore mother nature, or students go rollerblading past my house with hockey sticks in hand.Daily, I see hope.As a result of online learning, teachers, parents, and students are appreciating what we do for the other, but more importantly, what we have done for each other.Parents and students, please remember that our teachers joined this profession because they love children and emphatically, I can say that our teachers miss their students terribly.
Today, as the pandemic is still our reality and may continue in the future, I remind each one of you to relish those moments that take our breath away.As our grade nine students begin to “take flight” towards high school, I wish you all the best and remember that your Father Whelihan family will always be here for you.Thank you to all the staff who have worked tirelessly this school year and have been flexible and resilient during these uncertain times.Thank you, parents, for your utmost patience and hard work as you have navigated online learning for the past three months.While the bricks and mortar of what we understand schooling to be has changed; what remains the same is the love and kindness that permeates within a community remains the same.
“Go Wings Go!”
I pray that the grace of God be with all of you.Peace be with you.