Dorothy Keenan: Dedicated teacher believed in potential of every child
DOROTHY Keenan was a dedicated, inspirational teacher who believed in the potential of every child.
Born and bred in Crossmaglen in south Armagh, she began her career in Ballynaclosha PS, a small three-teacher school on the border with no modern conveniences.
Joining the staff in 1981, she taught Primaries 1 and 2 during her time there.
A naturally outgoing person, Dorothy's smile and warmth of personality meant she engaged with people very easily and she always loved the chat in the classroom with the children and her colleagues.
She had wonderful memories of her early years of teaching – relying on an old pot boiler stove for heat, going on school trips to the Opera House, and working creatively in composite classes despite the limited resources.
The reputation of Ballynaclosha PS spread far and wide and Dorothy's teaching contributed hugely to that.
When the school closed in 1989 she moved to St Brigid's PS, Glassdrummond.
She initially taught P6 and later P4, where she was responsible for preparing for First Holy Communion.
Dorothy was meticulous in her planning and will be remembered in St Brigid's as being totally committed to the welfare and interests of the pupils in her care.
She believed that all the children in her class could improve and develop their skills and knowledge and was always trying to find new, creative and innovative ways to help them learn.
Dorothy was also primarily responsible for setting up the Comenius project in the school which led to partnerships across Europe.
Ultimately this resulted in children having video link classes with children from Italy, Spain and Sweden.
Throughout her teaching career Dorothy was also an active member in the INTO and was a strong believer in its influence in supporting and developing the teaching profession into the future alongside the other organisations and agencies.
Outside of teaching Dorothy loved spending time with her family and her wide circle of friends, travelling and meeting new people.
She always kept active and enjoyed walking regularly with her friends to clear her head and catch up on how everyone was doing – she was a loyal and trustworthy friend who provided sound advice and guidance when asked.
Despite her illness Dorothy continued to work to the highest standards providing excellent care and education to her pupils, supported at all times by her colleagues.
Dorothy Keenan (née Short) died peacefully surrounded by her family on February 15.
She is survived by her husband Terry and children Niall and Eoin. May she rest in peace.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.