Sister Felicity, head at St Winefride's Independent School in Shrewsbury, has taken her last register and issued her last detention after more than three and a half decades.
The Cork native came to Shrewsbury in 1984 having been appointed head of the school by her congregation, the Sisters of Mercy. She qualified as a teacher in 1964 and taught in Swansea, Princethorpe in Bath, and Kenilworth before coming to Shrewsbury. The Sisters of Mercy have been involved in education since 1864 and celebrations to mark the 150 years in Shrewsbury were held in 2018.
A farewell gathering at the school to mark her retirement was attended by pupils, teachers’ trustees and a parent representative.
Patrick Strong, chair of the board of trustees, said: “Sister worked tirelessly to promote the interest of the school and the wellbeing of the pupils.
"She succeeded in putting the school on a sound educational and financial footing and preventing its possible closure. This was achieved through hard work, a single-minded dedication to the education of the young and a vibrant prayer life.
"A measure of her success is evident in St Winefride’s been rated 30th place out of 100 in the Sunday Times survey of Independent Schools in 2019.
"The school has also achieved notable success in sports as well as academic achievements with notable success in sporting events not only in Shropshire but also in the West Midlands.”
Sir Edward Tate, a trustee and past pupil of the school paid tribute to her hard work and dedication to the school.
He said: “Sister Felicity committed herself whole heartedly to the school and created an outstanding learning environment. She built up a strong and dedicated team of teachers, classroom assistants and support staff."
Mrs Andrea Brown also a trustee and former teacher at the school, said: “Sister facilitated an ethos of openness, kindliness and friendship built on the school motto and the teachings of the Venerable Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.
"This ethos was fundamental to the success of the school and is a wonderful legacy to hand over to the next headteacher."
Mrs Elizabeth Devey currently deputy head at St John’s School, Bridgnorth, and will become head at St Winefride's in September.