Pupils, former pupils, parents, carers, teachers, support staff, governors, sponsors and special guests came together at St Ciaran’s College to celebrate and acknowledge the success of pupils and all those who support them.
2017-18 was a very successful year in terms of academic performance but behind the headline results there was recognition given to great range and depth of achievement beyond the classroom. Principal, Mr Paul Lavery, commented on being proud of the wide range of academic and extracurricular achievements of students saying “we believe in providing pupils with the opportunities to develop holistically” and described the school as being a beacon for Catholic education through its “nurturing, caring and inclusive ethos”. In recognizing the achievements of the assembled students he described them as being an “example and inspiration to other pupils” and that they have been “great ambassadors” for St Ciaran’s.
He concluded by saying “We recognise the achievements of our Year 14 and 12 pupils. All this has been realised by a combination of effort on the part of the pupils themselves, the dedication and professionalism of our staff and not forgetting the support and encouragement given in the home by parents and carers. This is indeed a real team effort. We are indeed a Family of Families and I applaud the collective endeavour and sense of community towards achieving our vision of Inclusion, Growth, Aspiration and Success.”
The evening’s guest speaker was Dr Caroline O’Hanlon, Northern Ireland netball captain at two Commonwealth Games and also the flag bearer for Northern Ireland at the recent games in the Gold Coast, Australia. In addition to praising the young people for their efforts to succeed, Dr O’Hanlon also spoke of her own education studying medicine at Queen’s University. She reminded students that pathways may not always be clear and it was important for young people to “consider all the options available to them”. Speaking of her own experiences she described the pride she feels when given the opportunity to lead teams at local, national and semi-professional level but also recognised the difficulties of trying to balance her sporting career with her job as a GP.
A multitude of prizes and awards were distributed at the ceremony covering all aspects and facets of school life from academic, attendance and sporting prizes to awards that recognized the contribution of students to the life of the school.
A gallery of photographs from the evening can be found here. Photography by Jim Dunne.
A full list of prizewinners is available here.