At a special staff function held at Union High School earlier today (Thursday, 28 November), special tribute was paid to Mr Rory Sullivan who will be retiring at the end of this year.
Not many people in life truly shape who we are. But, over a career spanning several decades, Mr Sullivan was one of those exceptional individuals who managed to shape, nurture and impact the lives of thousands of young learners in the most remarkable ways.
Mr Sullivan embarked on his career in teaching after matriculating from Union High School in the famous year of 1969. Prior to accepting a post at his alma mater, he taught at Grey Junior and Victoria West High School. It was in 1980 that Mr Sullivan’s long association with Union – not as a learner or as a talented sportsman – but as an enthusiastic educator, commenced. Shortly after being appointed at the school, Mr Sullivan also took up the position of Superintendent of Barnard House.
In 1989, Mr Sullivan decided to take a break from teaching. Fortunately for Union, the little word “however” crept in and he decided to yield to the pull of education and returned to teaching in 1996.
In 2003 he took a leap of faith and accepted a post in Abu Dhabi. He also had the privilege of coaching rugby in the USA during 2004. After his sojourn overseas, he, once again, returned to Union where he has been at the front of the classroom, teaching ever since.
For those who know Mr Sullivan, a very important word in his vast vocabulary is, of course, rugby! Although he is regarded as an exceptional coach of multiple sporting codes, rugby is where he shines the brightest. His passion for the game is almost tangible.
You would be hard pressed to find someone better able to recall all the amazing memories made on the rugby fields at Union – the scores, the moves, the tries, the lows, the highs, the best and the worst. They say memory fades as the years go by but Mr Sullivan continues to astound his colleagues when he takes a trip down Rugby’s memory lane.
Now, as he heads into retirement and begins a new chapter in his life, we wish Mr Sullivan a wonderful retired life ahead! In reality we know that this goodbye is not really goodbye – we’ll be saying hello often as he continues his association with the school as Herby Arnott House’s Superintendent.