independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Hard work pays off for students

A LARGE group of students, both past and present, along with their parents, gathered for the St. Mary's Annual Awards Night.

In his opening remarks Principal Mr Jim Brady, welcomed back the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students of the class of 2012 along with their parents.

He spoke of his immense pride in this group who performed so wonderfully well in the state exams last June.

The results speak for themselves, 20 students attaining over 500 points and 84% going on to a third level college.

The results at Junior Cert were equally impressive and he had no doubt that many of the Junior Cert pupils receiving awards would be back in two years time being awarded for excellent leaving cert results.

The first guest speaker was Peter Nolan, a past pupil, who now runs his own medical company.

Peter spoke about his joy in meeting former pupils of St Mary's all over the world. Many are now holding leading positions in major companies and all are grateful for the foundation they received in their school.

Cllr Kevin Callan, former mayor and past pupil, presented the students with their trophies and thanked the school for the outstanding contribution which it is making to the educational, cultural and social life of Drogheda.

Two young former students Eddie Jones and Darren Carty are now members of the UCD Voluntary Services Overseas Group.

They gave a very moving presentation of their work with young children in India.

They challenged all present to look at their priorities and maybe re-evaluate their criteria for success.

A range of awards were presented on the night.

These included four memorial Awards; The Martin Kilkelly Award for Geography went to Conor McDonough, The Frank Murtagh Award for Building Construction to Tomas Callan, The Sean Higgins Award for Transition Year to Mark Farrelly and The Martin Keaveney Award for Irish to Conor Rothwell and Daire McCormack- George. Other awards on the night included Bank of Ireland Awards to Jeff Ward and Daire McCormackGeorge, Parents Awards & Principal's Awards.

Finally the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Fr.Gerry Rice awards for the best Leaving Cert and Junior Cert results.

Sean Collins, historian and past pupil, spoke of his pride at being asked to come back to his old Alma Mater and present the main awards of the evening.

He said that although he left this school almost 40 years ago he always felt welcome here. Many of his former teachers he now counts as good friends and this is a testimony to the familial spirit which has always been a hallmark of St.Mary's.

These sentiments would most certainly find favour with Fr. Gerry Rice. Sean presented the award for the best Leaving Cert to Philip Clarke and best Junior Cert went to Sean Cummins.

The night concluded with supper provided by the Parents Council.

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