Deerfield teacher gets Irish surprise

Deerfield School sixth-grade teacher Paul Corcoran, left, who frquently wears a kilt to school in honor of his heritage, was given a little musical surprise Friday from the Deerfield staff. After the bagpipe performance, Corcoran chatted with bagpiper Chris Hannemann.

Bagpipes echoed through the hallways of Deerfield School on Friday, as faculty and staff brought a taste of Ireland to Lawrence.

Sixth-grade teacher and proud Irishman Paul Corcoran was surprised as a kilt-clad bagpiper burst into his classroom and began to serenade him in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Because the holiday falls during the school’s spring break, staffers planned an early celebration for students and the lucky teacher.

“Paul has done several nice things for us,” said Susan Niedenthal, a third-grade teacher at Deerfield. “We’ve got flowers in the fall, we got a Christmas gift on Christmas, and then on the 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, he had many of us serenaded by the orchestra from LHS. So we decided we should return the favor.”

Corcoran became so interested in his heritage about seven years ago that he began wearing a kilt to class — and has been wearing one most days ever since. He was touched by the sounds of the bagpipes.

“I’ve got a great staff, so don’t know who all was involved, but I’m very thankful,” Corcoran said of the event.