Today was highly emotional as ASM officially said goodbye to the Class of 2021, whilst also ensuring to wish them the best of success in their futures away from our caring eye. This was most definitely not the send-off our Leaving Certificate students had envisioned, though it certainly was the loveliest one possible, given the circumstances.
The service opened with prayers delivered by students representing each of the Leaving Certificate classes. Here they paid a touching tribute to their classmates, families, teachers, and wider school community. This was reiterated by our Deputy-Head Girl, Aaliyah te Pou, as she reflected on the role of all of these in supporting and enabling the personal growth of all in the Class of 2021.
We were treated to a series of beautiful songs performed by Rachel Hourigan, Jade Madigan, and Sophie Ryan; as well as violin pieces from Helen Ogbuachi. These allowed a precious few moments to soak in the occasion and appreciate each other’s virtual company.
Our principal, Ms Herbert, reminded the Class of 2021 that they are always in our thoughts, evoking the memories of them tripping over their skirts and worrying about getting lost as they joined our school community in 2016 and 2017. She praised their resilience and proudly noted the capacities that will surely see them become future leaders in multiple fields. Today’s ceremony marked a significant milestone in their lives, and it is with no small amount of pride that she joined Sr Ena Quinlan, the chair of our Board of Management, in encouraging our girls to chase their dreams from this day forth.
The resilience so obvious in the Class of 2021 was again extolled by Ms Grant, their Year Head. Acknowledging them as a great group who have left an indelible mark on ASM’s school community, she was particularly struck by their inspiring ability to adapt to learning’s changing landscape over the last year. Our Leaving Certificate students are not only part of history, but are poised to make their own as they set out into the world.
Our virtual graduation was of course highlighted by our Head Girl’s speech. Fahriye Dilmac acknowledged the disappointments we all sorely felt, but pointed out how the Class of 2021’s memories, made as part of our unique school community, will undoubtedly outlive any disappointment. Fahriye listed the features of life in ASM that we often take for granted, stating that these have been critical in moulding the dynamic young people that they have become. Always the effervescent Head Girl, Fahriye also ensured that the lighter side of life in ASM was paramount in her contribution!
A poignant moment marked the end of the virtual graduation, a naming ceremony. This list of all students in the Class of 2021 demonstrated that their contributions to the physical, social, and spiritual spaces of ASM is deeply appreciated and unlikely to ever be forgotten.
While we are sad to see them leave, we are delighted that their time in ASM has supplied them all with the tools needed to progress to the next stage of their lives. We look forward to the day when we can safely meet and celebrate the wonderful young people that they have become. Our entire school community wishes the Class of 2021 the very best of luck in their futures and hope that all of their millions of dreams come true!