Laois girl awarded for perfect school attendance

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois girl awarded for perfect school attendance

A special award has been presented to a graduate of Presentation Primary School in Portarlington in Laois.

Sharon Maher managed to make it through the whole eight years of primary school without missing a day.

While the school remains closed, she got the chance to put on her uniform for the very last time last Friday, and paid a socially distanced visit to school, to collect a certificate of Eight Years Full Attendance for her great achievement.

The school principal is Cathal Ruane.

“It is a brilliant achievement. Sharon showed huge determination to make it in every day. She is a credit to herself, her family and her school. We are delighted and very proud of her,” he said.

Sharon herself is delighted.

“It was fairly easy to do. There were some mornings when I was tempted to stay home but I just pushed myself on. My big sister Jodie helped me,” she sad.

She is sad not to have had her last months of school.

“I am missing my friends but we keep in touch on social media. It is harder I think on people with bigger families and different learning levels,” Sharon said.

She is looking forward to seeing all her friends again when she starts secondary school in the autumn.

“I'd say it will be hard to get used to. We had a tour of the school already though and I am looking forward to starting and seeing my friends,” she said.

She thanked her teachers.

“I'd like to thank Mr Maguire, Miss Dollard and Miss Gorman, they were my favourites, I loved school,” she said.

A daughter of Peter and Theresa Maher, Sharon is one of eight children.

Her mother told the Leinster Express how proud they are of her.

“We are very proud of her. To me it shows determination on her behalf. She just loved going to school, loved doing her schoolwork and seeing her friends.

“Since first class she has come home and done her homework on her own.

“There was one day in 5th class that she was a bit late to school. Her friends were in the class wondering if she wasn't going to come in and then she appeared.

“She never really was sick, the odd time she did feel a bit unwell she wanted to still go in,” said Theresa.

She said that Sharon was a little disappointed not to experience the final celebrations traditionally enjoyed by sixth class graduates.

“She was a bit disappointed, they would have had an overnight school tour, and they always get their tops signed and have a last assembly,” she said.

So far Sharon is the only one in her family with a full attendance record but she has competition in her younger siblings.

“Her brother Liam is in fifth class and he's not missed a day either. Blake is in third class and he hasn't either. Angel our youngest who was born at 27 weeks is in second class now and she hasn't missed a day either.

“It will encourage the other kids to see her effort rewarded. They are great kids. Of course in the mornings I have to call them and get them up for school, but on mid terms or the summer holidays they always want to go back to school,” she said.