The entire Highland Drive Elementary School community joined together to recognize and express their gratitude to retiring Principal Eva O’Mara for her years of dedicated service on behalf of the District’s families and students during a surprise ceremony on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Filled with smiles, hugs and a few tears, the ceremony featured touching tributes from staff and students alike. School Counselor Ann Kelley delivered remarks on behalf of the entire staff, which used words such as patient, supportive, loving, encouraging, kind and respectful to describe Ms. O’Mara. Prior to the ceremony, Ms. O’Mara was given a book filled with well-wishes from staff and the student body. Ms. O’Mara, a former art teacher, was also delighted to receive a canvas filled with the handprints of the entire student body during the ceremony as well.
Each grade level wished Ms. O’Mara farewell through song, which included “Are You Teaching” written by the 2nd grade students and Music Teacher Dean Stamatis, to the tune of the traditional children’s song, “Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques).” Third-grade students performed “So Long, Farewell” from the classic musical, The Sound of Music. Twenty former students, co-workers and their family members made a surprise appearance to provide well-wishes to Ms. O’Mara on her retirement. The ceremony fittingly concluded with the entire school community forming a circle around the school driveway and delivering a clap-out to Ms. O’Mara, who provided high-fives and hugs to students.
Ms. O’Mara’s work in education spans forty-two years. She spent the early part of her career teaching art at Elyria High School and Kenston Middle School, before taking a similar position in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools, teaching at the High School, Middle School and all three elementary schools. After supervising a High School ELL program in Michigan for several years, Ms. O’Mara returned to the BBHCSD to teach High School art and began her administrative career with positions at the High School and Middle School. In 2001, she became principal at Highland Drive Elementary School. Ms. O’Mara holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Administrative Degree from Baldwin-Wallace University, and studied graphic design at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools would like to thank Ms. Eva O’Mara for her dedicated service on behalf of the District’s students and families, and best wishes in retirement!