St. John's, Embracing the Future

Clare Champion, Friday,  4th June 1999

St. John's National School is a two-teacher school nestled in Drumgeely, the old Shannon Town Centre. Founded in 1961, St. John's was the first school established in Shannon and is now the only remaining Church of Ireland school in Clare. Although Church of Ireland in name, in reality the school is multi-denominational. The students who attend the school come from a variety of religious backgrounds, including Church of Ireland, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and People of the Baha'I faith. Religion is taught in the school and there are visits on alternate weeks by Rev. Bob Hanna, the local Church of Ireland Rector and School Manager, and Rev. David Range, the local Methodist Minister. Three times a year the children participate in Church celebrations - at harvest time, an important festival in the Church calendar; at Christmas and at Easter. 

At present, there are 41 children on roll. The Junior students are taught by Ira Quealy, Principal, and the senior students are taught by Helen Slattery.

St. John's has a very dedicated Parents Committee who fund-raise and help out in various ways especially in the organisation of the school sports and fund day. The hard working board of management ensures the smooth running of the school. There is a great team spirit between the parents, board of management and teachers, which provides the support system necessary to meet the challenge of "Educating For Life" on the verge of the new Millennium.

Embracing the future, the school is linked with another Church of Ireland school, St. Mary's in Nenagh, and together the schools have forged links with the Parish of Grace Church in New Hampshire, U.S.A. The children exchange letters, gifts and E-mails. In the past both schools worked together and were involved in the Pushkin Creative Writing Project which meant learning to write creatively in a new, real and more meaningful way. Being involved in the project also meant trips to Co. Tyrone and Co. Antrim and a visit to the school by a group of Russian children who were also involved in the Creative Writing Project. A book of the childrens' writing over the last four years 'Taking Flight' will be launched on June 16th.

Having fun with the piano at St. John's
N.S., Shannon, were Katie Robins, Hugh
Carey, Nicholle Meehan, Kerry McKerchar,
Sorcha Jege and Jodi Wallace.
    Rory O'Connell and Damien Haugh doing some
research at St. John's N.S., Shannon.

Photographs by John Kelly, Clare Champion.

<< St. John's National School