Thursday 23 November 2017

Meet the students with perfect score

Holly Collins of Schull Community College Picture: Denis Boyle
Holly Collins of Schull Community College Picture: Denis Boyle
Gemma O'Dwyer of Ursuline Secondary School, Tipperary
Alba Walsh-Subrian, 16, pictured at her home in Ratoath, Co Meath Picture: Arthur Carron
Julie Gaine, Mercy College Sligo Photo: James Connolly
Anna Moelders, 15, from East Glendalough Comp in Wicklow Town Picture: Frank McGrath

David Kearns and Amy Molloy

“I don’t think there’s a person in Cork who hasn’t heard about my results,” laughed Holly Collins (16), a student at Schull Community College.

“Mum hasn’t been off the phone telling everyone. I think she’s happier than me.”

Trembling as she tore open her results envelope, the young guitarist said she never expected to see 12 As listed one after another.

 “I blinked a few times because it didn’t seem real but then other people saw it and started cheering so it kind of stunk in then.”

Her principal Brendan Drinan said it was an “extraordinary achievement for a marvellous girl”.

Having been listed amongst the top students in the country, Holly admitted she’d been much more nervous preparing for the exams than actually sitting them.

“It’s not something I’m looking forward to repeating anytime soon, even doing as well as I did,” she joked.

Gemma O’Dwyer (15), Clochar Na Nursulach Tipperary

A sports mad teen, a keen debater, and a great worker, that’s how Gemma O’Dwyer’s classmates described the 15-year-old – one of only six students to receive 12 As in her Junior Cert.

“I was really shocked. I didn’t think I would have done as well as I did. I thought I’d screwed up when I messed up one the questions on the history paper. But no, still got an A!”

Gemma admit that her results had acted as a “little pick me up” for her family following the tragic death of her cousin Nicola Kenny, who died last week just a day after the birth of her daughter Lily-Rose when a lorry hit the car she was a passenger in.

“I haven’t even spoken to my friends yet about my results but my mam and dad are so happy.

“We had some really bad news last week because my cousin [Nicola Kenny] died, so this was a little bit of pick me up for our family.”

Her principal Mary Butler at Clochar Na Nursulach said: “We are thrilled for Gemma, she is a great girl.”

Alba Walsh-Subiran (16) Ratoath College, Meath

Aspiring paediatrician Alba Walsh-Subiran (16) was close to tears when she saw what was written on her results sheet.

“I started counting them and began to choke up, 12 As. 12! I couldn’t believe it. I knew I’d do well, after all I’ve been studying for the last three years, but I was expecting at least some Bs.”

Alba, from Ratoath town, goes to Ratoath College in Meath, and her principal Una Prendergast had nothing but praise for the top student.“Alba was exceptional, we’re very proud of her. We’re proud of everyone in fact, they all did superbly.”

Now in fifth year, Alba said she was looking forward to the Leaving Cert. “I’ve always enjoying sitting down and getting my work done so I’m not intimidated for what is ahead of me. “It’s taken me a long time to decide what I might want to study later but now I really want to be a doctor because I’d love to spend my life helping people.”

Julie Gaine (15) Strandhill, Sligo

Still in shock after getting her results at Mercy College, Julie Gaine (15) is still in denial over her 12 As. “I still can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem real. I never thought I would get 12 As. I thought I would do well because I worked hard throughout the year but not this.” Julie, from Strandhill, credited studying throughout the year rather than cramming at the last minute for her achievement.

The bright teenager, who also plays hockey and plays the   piano, violin and harp, said her parents were “over the moon” after learning of her results.

The teenager who is still mulling over future career options said she was looking forward to her Transition Year with trips to China and France on the agenda.

Anna Moelders (15) East Glendalough Comprehensive, Wicklow

Anna Moelders (15) from East Glendalough Comprehensive School in Wicklow also got 12 A1s. Her principal, Craig Petrie, said: ”We are delighted for her. Anna is a straight A student. She has worked really hard and we are very proud of the work she put in.”

“Eleven would routinely be the number we teach here, so scoring an A in a 12th subject was something really special.

“This was the first year that we’ve had someone whose done the extra subject. In Anna’s case it was German. Her father is German so it would have come naturally to her but still it would have been a lot of extra work.”

Irish Independent

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