It was a night of celebration in St. Vincent’s Secondary School in Dundalk last week when the school's annual Awards Ceremony took place.
It has been another successful year for the school with both academic and extra-curricular achievements recognised. The event reflected all aspects of school life, from various sports teams, ICT, Science and Business, alongside Music and the Arts as well as humanitarian and social awareness groups.
Principal Deirdre Matthews welcomed family and friends and students past and present to the occasion.
"We celebrate achievement in State examinations, as well as recognizing students willingness to involve themselves in the life of the school beyond the classroom. We honor them for their school spirit and their ability to represent the school in the wider community," she said.
Sports awards featured strongly and among the recipients were the Senior relay team of Kate O’Connor, Kelly Breen, Gemma McCrave and Patience Jumbo-Gula who won gold at the All Ireland track and field event in the 4x100m.
Kate O’Connor was also named Senior Sportsperson for her outstanding contribution to the school.
Other sports recognised were Gaelic football, Basketball, Camogie, Rugby, Cricket and Badminton.
Cara Pilbeam received recognition for winning the Trinity College Book Of Kells Art Competition and her winning piece is now on display in the college.
Debating and Public Speaking had another successful year when Leah O’Shaughnessy came first in the prestigious European Commission Soapbox Event, while Sadbh Boylan followed in her footsteps when she was crowned National Champion for her speech at the Irish headquarters of Action Aid.
Meanwhile, Amy O’Donoghue was the regional winner in the Rotary Club Leadership Awards.
Science and Maths featured in a number of awards, in particular the teams who took part in the BT Young Scientists Exhibition, as well as the Scifest@DkIT.
Six teams entered the John Hooper Silver Medal in Statistics Poster Competition, with Zara O’Shea, Grace Olamijuwon and Isabel Holmes receiving an Order Of Merit for their project ‘To determine the effects of Mindful Meditation on Stress Levels and Sleep Patterns’.
Business students were honored in areas such as Banking and Mini-companies, while the winning team of Ella Gamble, Sadhbh Lynch, Mary McArdle and Robyn Griffith took gold at the Young Economist of the Year Competition with their project ‘Should excise duty be put on e-cigarettes.’
The Gaelbhratach Committee which promotes Irish culture and language in the school received awards and were congratulated on their latest success as the school has been awarded it’s third Gaelbhratach flag. The Student Council and ever succcesful Bridge Club as well as the Green Flag and Human Rights group were recognised also.
Included amongst the numerous academic awards were 28 past pupils who achieved over 500 points in their Leaving Certificate last year, including two students who achieved over 600.
Finally Mrs. Matthews announced the recipient of the much anticipated Ceist Catherine McAuley Award which is rooted in the Mercy tradition. The award recognises a senior student for her outstanding contribution to school life.
She described Eleanor Curran as "A girl who is always willing to share and offer her deeply held thoughts and convictions in a way that seeks to preserve the dignity of others. She can always be relied on to offer help and her opinion in a firm but gentle way."