Outstanding results for teacher who sat 30 subjects
A biology teacher who sat a record 30 Leaving Certificate subjects spared his blushes today by scoring top marks in his specialist topic.
Eoin Jackson from Co Waterford notched up 17 honours and 10 passes after sitting 41 papers to raise funds for his school.
But despite his outstanding results card, including an A1 in biology, the 35-year-old said he was frustrated by a fail in Hebrew studies.
"I passed biology by a long way but I teach that so I would want to," he said.
"The Hebrew got away from me - it's one of my only regrets.
"I put so much work into that, it would have been an unbelievable coup to get it."
Mr Jackson - who set a previous record when he passed 20 subjects in 1994 - admitted he had an attack of last-minute nerves when he received the envelope containing his grades.
"I hadn't been anxious at all in the run-up, but when I had those results in my hand and I was looking through them one by one I was nervous," he said.
"One of the worst things about the Leaving Cert is that people have a mental block about it, they're terrified.
"I wanted to take a bit of that terror away, to demystify it and to help my students to see it as a challenge.
"If they don't get it the first time they can always try again next year."
Mr Jackson, who lives in Brownstown Head near Tramore, teaches at the XLc Project in Waterford.
He set the scheme up with his mother Nuala in 1998 to help early school leavers through state examinations.
This June, in less than three weeks the self-confessed exam nerd sat tests in 30 subjects, culminating in an epic final day of five papers from 9.30am to 11.45pm.
Among the subjects he tackled were Japanese, Agricultural Science, Swedish and Russian.
Mr Jackson said he took on the challenge to raise awareness and much-needed funds for his workplace.
"The XLc Project is a model for what a school should be like, there's a very positive atmosphere in the school," he said.
"Hopefully I've helped draw attention to what we do and encouraged people to donate."