Susan Colton – A Legacy of Learning

After 41 years of vocational service to the Irish education system as a Teacher, Principal, and Deputy Principal, Susan Colton retired from her position as Teacher and Deputy Principal of Saint Luke’s NS, Douglas on Friday 28th October 2022, just before the October mid-term break.

To celebrate Susan’s 23 years-long career at Saint Luke’s NS as a teacher for Rang 3, Junior Infants and Support Teaching, a special service was held on Thursday, 27th October at Saint Luke’s Church in Douglas, followed by a lunch gathering in the school afterwards. Current and former students, teachers, Board of Management members, and staff of Saint Luke’s NS all were present to celebrate with Susan and her family and friends.

A full church for Susan Colton’s Retirement Service

Every single class made a small presentation to Susan, where they recited poems, sang songs, and recollected some of their favourite memories of their teacher, most notably from their time in Junior Infants.

Olwen Anderson, Principal of Saint Luke’s NS, said during the service:

There is a well known saying – ‘Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions’. You have without doubt taught future engineers, doctors, sportspeople, marketing gurus, architects, teachers and there must be the odd influencer in there too! […] Susan – we will miss your lovely relationship with our pupils, your thoughtful teaching, your witty sense of humour, your entertaining stories, your calm wisdom, your practical solutions to problems, and that very unique umbrella.

As one of our pupils said in their message to you – “Have fun. You’ve worked really hard. Hope you will always remember that you are part of St. Luke’s”

So, on behalf of everyone in St. Luke’s School, I want to wish you a very healthy and a very happy retirement.

Principal Olwen Anderson and a pupil of St Luke’s NS during the service.

Susan Colton also recollected some memories from her time at Saint Luke’s NS:

One of my duties as deputy Principal was to keep and update the School Records. This involved making sure the roll was taken correctly every day. I also had to keep an eye on all the pupils attendance – how many days pupils were present and how many days pupils were absent in the year.

I had to fill in these two Clar Leabhair, one for boys and one for girls. […] My name is also in a Clar Leabhair not as a teacher, but as a pupil, because I started St Luke’s School in Junior Infants just like you, in 1965 – 6th Class do your sums. I am very proud that my name is in a St Luke’s Clar Leabhair. […] I feel very privileged that since 1965 I have been connected to St Luke’s as a pupil, teacher, parent and deputy principal. […]

School Group Photo at St Luke’s NS with Susan Colton (second row, sitting on chairs, fourth from the right) and her husband Bishop Paul Colton (back row, standing, first from left next to Canon Packham).
School Group Photo at St Luke’s NS with Susan and her sister Jane (second row, third from the left: Jane, fourth from the left: Susan).

I now have the opportunity to thank past and present Patrons, Managers, Chairpersons, clergy, Boards of Management, PTA, Principals, teachers, parents, staff, pupils and everybody associated with St Luke’s who have worked so hard over the years to make St Luke’s the progressive school it is today. […]

Winston Churchill once quoted Confucius and said “If you find a job you love, you will never work again”. I was fortunate enough to find a job that I loved. Thank you to all who made it possible to allow me to do the job that I love. I have had 23 very happy years teaching in St Luke’s and 18 years before that in other happy schools. I hope all of you pupils will find a job in the future that you love.

Susan Colton, her husband Bishop Paul and their two sons Adam and Andrew, all former pupils of St Luke’s NS, having lunch in the school after the celebratory service.

On Friday, 28th October, Susan’s very last day at school, the pupils and teachers of Saint Luke’s NS prepared a special assembly, where they presented Susan with more gifts and sang a song that they wrote for their teacher – “Super-duper, wonderful, fantastic Mrs Colton”.

Susan Colton dressed up for her last day of school.

Susan, Comhghairdeas ar do scor.

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