Success Rewarded at St Paul’s Senior Prizegiving

Principal of St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, Mr Oliver Mooney, welcomed a large crowd of parents, friends and recent past pupils of the school to the Annual Senior Prizegiving, which was held recently.

Mr Mooney introduced the platform party, and welcomed Chair of Board of Governors Mr John Campbell, Principal of St Peter’s Primary School, Cloughreagh, Very Rev Father Seán Larkin, PP, Vice-chair of Board of Governors, and Very Rev Father Dermot Maloney, PP, School Chaplain, Head of Year 14, Mrs Catherine Hughes, representative of Norbrook Pharmaceutials, Mrs Sharon Doran and representative of First Trust Bank, Ms Colleen Murray.  Mr Mooney expressed a special word of welcome to Guest of Honour, Mr Brendan Connolly, who recently retired as Senior Teacher and Examinations Officer after thirty six years of service to St Paul’s.

Mr Mooney thanked the governors of St Paul’s and all the primary principals for their support and also thanked First Trust Bank and Norbrook Pharmaceutials for their continued support of St Paul’s. The special guest was one of St Paul’s recently retired teachers Mr Brendan Connolly. Mr Mooney described Mr Connolly as ‘Mr St Paul’s’. Brendan gave thirty six years of service to the school and twenty three of those were as Examinations’ Officer where he gave a faultless performance and managed tens of thousands of examinations.

 Mr Mooney went on to say that 2012 had been another exceptional year. “At GCSE our students excelled and we had students getting 8, 9 and 10 A*s and A grades and individual students getting up to 13 “Good” GCSE grades A* to C. Their prize giving will come later on in the year but they deserve a mention tonight. The new Lower sixth group is again our largest ever with almost 170 students. We now have approximately 300 students at post 16 one of the largest post 16 provisions in the North of Ireland”

“Our A Level students who are with us tonight should feel very proud. They have matched last year’s best ever A Level results in St Paul’s and 88% of all our A Level grades were A* to C. Not one student failed an A Level subject giving a 100% pass rate in every subject at A2 level. These are outstanding results from a group of students who chose to come to St Paul’s and didn’t have to do an academic test to get a place. Each year schools across the North of Ireland advertise their admissions’ examinations and bring 10 year old children in to sit unnecessary tests. They have created a myth that the most able academic children will only excel if they are educated with others of equal academic ability but that is simply untrue. Children will achieve when they are safe, happy and challenged. Success is achieved by the special relationships we build with the pupils, the teachers and the parents.”

“I call on all parents to spare their children from admission tests that are completely unnecessary and to the schools still administering these tests to move quickly to new procedures for admission. I welcome the direction given by the Minister of Education and the managing authorities of these schools, the Bishops and the heads of the religious orders, that the present system of academic “rejection” be abandoned and I call on the governors and principals of these schools across the North of Ireland to show compassion and courageous leadership in designing new admissions’ procedures.”

“These young people in St Paul’s are the proof of how successful you can be within a non selective co-educational environment. We need to equally value all young people, each young person deserves the best we can give him or her. Our A2 students are the role models for the younger students. They set the standards we want the others to equal and surpass.”

“I am immensely proud of them and I am grateful to their teachers who have given so fully of themselves so that these young people would succeed. These students have had 14 years of top class education and we should never forget the foundations that were laid in their respective primary schools.”

“It would be remiss of me if I didn’t look back on some of the great events over the past year when our students excelled beyond the academic arena in Music and Sport. Our orchestra, traditional groups and choirs have allowed our extremely talented students to perform in public and they have enhanced our enjoyment on several occasions. Individual students and groups have also won a range of local and national awards and competitions in Feiseanna and other competitions including the All Ireland Fleadh Ceoil.”

“2012 will go down as the year that St Paul’s won the Ulster MacLarnon Cup and the All-Ireland Colleges’ football title, the Noonan Trophy. This October will see the senior boys compete in the MacRory Cup for the first time and I know we all wish them well as they represent their families, their clubs and St Paul’s. I encourage them to bring their determination, courage, skill and sense of fair play to their matches and I have no doubt that they will enhance the MacRory competition.”

“A very special welcome to the family of our past pupil, Kevin Byrne, who died so young and so tragically. The Byrne family have generously donated a trophy for Boys’ Gaelic Football which they will present later this evening. I would ask you all to remember Kevin in your prayers.”

“2012 has been a fantastic year in every way and will set the standard for the years ahead.”

Mr Mooney then asked Mr Connolly to address the students and their families and to present the certificates to the graduands of 2012.

Chaplain at St Paul’s High School, Very Rev Father Dermot Maloney, PP, proposed a vote of thanks at the end of the ceremony to all who had assisted in the smooth running of the Prizegiving.  Father Dermot thanked masters of ceremonies, Ms Christine Fearon and Mrs Pauline McGuinness, and Prizegiving Co-ordinator, Mrs Siobhan O’Hare.

The following awards were presented and refreshments were served afterwards in the school cafeteria on what was an enjoyable and packed event of celebration.

Please click on our interactive Prizegiving booklet below to see a full list of award winners.

 

Mr Kevin Byrne senior, makes the inaugural presentation of the Kevin Byrne Perpetual Cup for Best Senior Footballer to Stephen Lavelle.  Also pictured are Principal, Mr Oliver Mooney, and Head of PE & Sport, Mr John Rafferty.

The family of the late Kevin Byrne RIP, past pupil, has dedicated a cup in his memory.  This cup was presented for the first time to Stephen Lavelle in recognition of his achievements on the school football field.  Stephen is presented with the cup by the family of the late Kevin Byrne.  

Pictured are students who received individual awards for Best Examination Results at GCE Advanced Level.  The students are pictured with Mrs Sharon Doran, Norbrook Laboratories, Ms Colleen Murray, First Trust Bank, Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal, Mr Brendan Connolly, Guest Speaker, Mr John Campbell, Chair of Governors and V Rev Father Dermot Maloney, Chaplain.

Pictured are students who received individual awards for Best Examination Results at GCE Advanced Level.  The students are pictured with (front row L-R) Mrs Sharon Doran, Norbrook Laboratories, Ms Colleen Murray, First Trust Bank, Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal, Mr Brendan Connolly, Guest Speaker, Mr John Campbell, Chair of Governors and V Rev Father Dermot Maloney, Chaplain.

Students who received individual awards for Endeavour and Contribution at GCE Advanced Level, pictured with (front row L-R) Mrs Sharon Doran, Norbrook Laboratories, Ms Colleen Murray, First Trust Bank, Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal, Mr Brendan Connolly, Guest Speaker, Mr John Campbell, Chair of Governors and V Rev Father Dermot Maloney, Chaplain.

Students who received individual awards for Endeavour and Contribution at GCE Advanced Level, pictured with (front row L-R) Mrs Sharon Doran, Norbrook Laboratories, Ms Colleen Murray, First Trust Bank, Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal, Mr Brendan Connolly, Guest Speaker, Mr John Campbell, Chair of Governors and V Rev Father Dermot Maloney, Chaplain.

Recipient of the Marion Reavey Trophy for Commitment to Music at GCE, Aisling Muckian, pictured with Principal, Mr Oliver Mooney, Guest Speaker, Mr Brendan Connolly and Chair of Governors, Mr John Campbell.

Recipients of Awards for Vocational Excellence at A Level, Christopher McMahon, Conor Moley and Michael Murphy, pictured with Principal, Mr Oliver Mooney and Head of PE & Sport, Mr John Rafferty.

Recipients of Awards for Academic Excellence at A Level, Catherine Brady and Shauna McNamee, pictured with Principal, Mr Oliver Mooney and Guest Speaker, Mr Brendan Connolly.

Recipient of the Hope Award for Contribution to School Life, Shannen O’Grady, pictured with proud parents, Mrs Martina O’Grady and Mr Adrian O’Grady, Guest Speaker, Mr Brendan Connolly, and Principal, Mr Oliver Mooney.

Guest Speaker, Mr Brendan Connolly, and Vice-principal, Mrs Una McNulty present an award to Rachel Boyle in recognition of seven years of full attendance at St Paul’s High School.


One comment

I was delighted to be part of this special night. Good luck to all the leavers on the next part of their life’s journey.

by John Campbell on 22/09/2012 at 10:55 pm #

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