IT wasn’t the leavers day that the class of 2020 at Sacred Heart college expected but a virtual farewell ensured that it was a day to be remembered.
The class of 2020 at the Omagh secondary school bid farewell to their school online with a video for the students, a live virtual chat and an online leavers mass.
The emotional and heartfelt video compiled by Cathy McNamee started with the pictures of the students during their first year at the school in 2013 while student Clodagh Greene sang ‘You Raise Me Up.’
Throughout the video, messages of good luck were sent to the students from teachers and other well known faces such as Frank Mitchell from UTV, Fr Christopher McDermott, Education Minister Peter Weir and Tyrone GAA player Joe McMahon.
Head of post 16, Sinead Rodgers said she is incredibly proud of the people the students have become.
She said, “It wasn’t supposed to end like this – it was meant to be a day full of joy and sadness when they completed the right of passage on the way to adulthood.
“We were to finish the day with the leavers mass which is always so special and memorable to be.
“My hope is that we will still be able to enjoy this mass in times to come.
“The Sacred Heart community will always be their family, and they will always be our pride and joy.”
Branded the ‘Lockdown Leavers’ the students will now go on to college, university or work in the most unusual circumstances.
Vice Principal Celia McGinn also paid tribute to the year 14s saying, “It is an understatement to say that this is a very unusual way to finish up a school year, never mind saying goodbye to a year 14 group.
“We were delighted to be entrusted with their education over the past seven.
“I would like the students to look back on your time with us at Sacred Heart College with fondness, cherish the memories of the friendships made and fun we had.
“We see our pupils reaching the top of their field every year, and this will be no different with this year,” said Ms McGinn.
Principal Sinead McAllister added that this is not how the students should have ended their school year.
She said, “We are already so proud of all that the students have achieved and I know that once it is safe and possible to do so, we will gather as a school community to wish the students well on their next educational journey,” said Ms McAllister.