Even a burst water pipe and forced cancellation of classes on May 8th couldn’t stop Mercy Secondary School from receiving its Champion School of Sanctuary status!
In a remarkable show of commitment, a large number of students and teachers remained in the school to welcome the monitoring team. That team included a number of esteemed representatives from the Technological University of the Shannon – Frances O Connell, Vice-President Student Education & Experience, TUS Access Officers Jenny Burke and Mona Khan, and TUS Sanctuary Scholarship students, Tikka and Ibrahim.
The monitoring team was also enhanced by two representatives (Gerry O’ Callaghan and Leah Moloney) from local refugee support group, New Horizon Athlone. School Principal, Garrett Farrell, commended lead teachers Sarah Corcoran, Jenny Grennan and Aoife Whelehan for their passion for the Sanctuary ethos and journey, which he says has truly transformed the school and created a visible change in how newcomer students are welcomed and included.
That welcome and inclusion was attested to by the incredible joy and pride we saw in all of the students that we met, including some past pupils and in the beautiful video presentation shown on the day.
We heard a beautiful poem about peace in Arabic from Leaving Cert student Mohammed and other students who enjoy sanctuary in the school also shared their joy in being students of this wonderful school.
Sarah Corcoran testimonial: “Being involved with School of Sanctuary is the most fulfilling thing I have undertaken in my career. It has opened my eyes to the beauty of celebrating diversity. The School of Sanctuary experience is joyful and heartwarming. I am so proud of all of my students who have taught me and each other so much”
Congratulations to Mercy Secondary School on receiving its accreditation and becoming the first Champion School of Sanctuary in Co Westmeath!
View the school’s Sanctuary portfolio: https://padlet.com/sarahcorcoran22/mercy-kilbeggan-school-of-sanctuary-3tz3e7j61ptxd92q
For more information about Sanctuary Scholarships at TUS, please visit this link