The Frank Healy Award is the highest accolade that Carrigaline Educate Together can bestow upon a student.
The award is named after a wonderful teacher, friend, and colleague, Frank Healy, who died in October 2016. The principal and teachers worked alongside the 6th class pupils to list all of the many characteristics that could be used to describe Frank.
These characteristics included; helpful, caring, hard working, diligent, enthusiastic, a team player, an all rounder, supportive, patient, kind, fun and empathetic.
Using these characteristics the teachers in the school choose two 6th class students that embody the spirit and legacy of Frank to receive the award.
Frank Healy was an astonishing teacher and person. At the time of his on death on October 18th 2016 he was the longest serving class teacher in Carrigaline Educate Together. He imparted a huge legacy on all of the children that he taught.
Of course Frank was so much more than a teacher. He was a beloved colleague and friend to staff in the school. He was an extremely popular teacher and cherished by all of the students in the school too.
Frank contributed to so many aspects of school life. He was a member of the school’s middle management team and was a post holder. He served as the teacher representative on the Board of Management.
As well as this he was responsible for so many sporting activities and achievements in the school. He organised City Sports every single year and entered the school into Sciath na Scol for the first time ever in 2016. It was due to Frank’s hard work and determination that we received our very first school flag, The Active Flag. It was an extremely proud moment for Frank when we obtained the flag and it was testament to his work and dedication to his vocation.
The Active Week that he took charge of every June was always a week that staff and children look forward to. The amount of fun activities and games offered during that week and on the Active Day itself was organised by Frank with the assistance of the Active School Committee.
Frank was incredibly ambitious and had lots of plans for his future and the school’s future. He had completed a Master degree in Education at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. His thesis was on the implementation of the Aistear programme in the infant classes. What was extraordinary about this achievement was that he managed to complete this Masters within a year as well as continuing to fulfil all of his classroom and post holder duties within the school.
Frank was delighted to learn that he had been awarded his Master before he died and was really looking forward to his graduation ceremony. Frank’s family accepted his graduation certificate on October 28th and he received a standing ovation from those attending the ceremony.
In addition, Frank had been approached by the Cork Education Centre to work as a facilitator. HE was going to present workshops at the Education Centre for newly qualified teachers and offer workshops in other areas of teaching too. The week before he died he had attended facilitator training in Athlone and was extremely proud that he had been approached to do this. Furthermore, he had guest lectured on the Aistear programme to students at Mary Immaculate College the previous school year. He was at a moment in his life where he had truly begun to realise his huge potential and was determined to keep up skilling.
This was also true with school life. Not content with one flag he had set the wheels in motion to obtain a Green Flag for the school and had completed a great deal of work in this area.
Outside of school Frank was a devoted son, uncle and friend. His family were very important to him and he visited his parents and sisters almost every day. He had an extremely close bond with his niece Leila. In fact, nay children who were taught by Frank were familiar with Leila as he had pictures of her by his desk in the classroom. He would have been so proud and happy that his sister, Orla, and Leila accepted his MEd on his behalf as he was looking forward to sharing his graduation day with them.
Frank was an avid Liverpool supporter and made regular trips to Anfield. He also attended the Euros in Poland in 2012. He had a very close group of friends who he spoke so highly of. It was with these friends that he enjoyed tag rugby games, cycling and 7-aside soccer on a weekly basis-even during his Masters!
Frank as left an everlasting legacy not just in Carrigaline Educate Together but in the lives of so man. He is utterly irreplaceable. His personality, spirit and determination will be forever woven within the fabric and ethos of our school. He embodied exactly the kind of person we hope every child in the school should strive to be. He was a role model, an inspiration and a loyal and cherished friend. There are simply not enough words to describe him as a person and teacher.
As difficult as it is to have lost Frank so sadly, suddenly and untimely we are so incredibly lucky and fortunate to have had him in our lives and school. We can say without hesitation that we are all the better to have known him and he enriched our lives. His legacy and influence will stay with us forever.