The exceptional accomplishments of students have been highlighted as Carrickfergus Grammar School held its annual prize distribution recently.
Addressing the audience of pupils, parents, and staff, principal Kieran Mulvenna welcomed as guest speaker for the evening a former student and current Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Lesley Hogg.
During his speech, Mr Mulvenna paid particular attention to the achievements of two past pupils, Lucy Allen and Alisha Gregg, who were jointly awarded the Clarke Shield for Endeavour.
Lucy’s strong grades secured her a place to study Theology at Queen’s University Belfast, while coping with a congenital heart condition.
Meanwhile, Alisha was recognised for her blog on living with obsessive compulsive disorder.
Other awards presented on the night included the Eirene Wright cup for Religious Studies which went to Jamie Wharry, the Dyanne Logan Cup for A-level Statistics which was given to Simon Gregory, and the Logos Shield for outstanding contribution to Scripture Union, which was received by Clara Rose Armstrong.
“Our GCSE results this year have shown what can be achieved with the three essential ingredients in any school’s recipe for success: high quality teaching, supportive parenting, and committed, ambitious young people,” Mr Mulvenna said.
“In August 117 pupils received 1042 GCSE grades across 25 subjects, with almost half of these being at A or A*. “This year our top student at GCSE was Evie Bennett who achieved a perfect grade profile of 10 A*s. In fact, Evie scored an A* in 27 out of her 30 GCSE modules.
“But with ten other girls – Sarah Hendawy, Emma Madden, Connie Smyth, Jayne Bell, Robyn Clarke, Gemma Henry, Anna McAteer, Hannah McKay, Jessica Montgomery and Olivia Moore – amassing between them a dazzling 51 As and
48 A*s Evie will certainly have healthy competition at A-level.
“Despite national misgivings about how males are faring educationally our boys in CGS have shown that they too have high aspirations: our top achievers this August were Daniel Alderdice and Jonathan Wilson who, along with Dylan Spence, Joshua Irvine, Tom McGowan, Jake Neilly, Curtis Patterson, Philip Stewart and Jamie Wharry, have racked up a marvellous total of 27 A*s and 52 grade As between them.
“With regard to A-level results, together our Year 14 students amassed well over 100 A/A* grades with two pupils, Emma Cooper and Simon Gregory, picking up seven top grades between them, an outstanding achievement in anyone’s book!
“This year’s A-level group must now meet the challenge of matching this exceptional level of success, and with hard work in the coming year this is well within their reach: with Rachel Abraham, Nicole Alderdice, Megan Davis, Bethany Fulton, Victoria Johnston, Zara Logan, Jessica Marshall, Lauren McAllister, Holly McCormack and Cara Rose all achieving three top A grades each and Hannah Fugard, Stef Meucci and Rebecca Hill hitting the jackpot with four A grades apiece there is talent aplenty to build on in the terms to come.”
Turning to sporting achievements, it was highlighted that the Year 10 footballers won last year’s East Antrim cup and saw off 62 other schools to reach the quarter finals of the NI competition.
“Tyrone Simms was selected for the Ulster Schools U-16 rugby squad, whilst in track and field Matty Baxter was selected to represent Ulster in the Triple Jump and Jack Leathem, aka Billy Whizz, represented NI in the 4x100 metres relay in the UK Schools Games held at Loughborough University in August,” Mr Mulvenna added.
“Congratulations must also go to Katharine Sheeran, Cara Hughes, Holly Campbell and Abigail Arthurs who were all chosen by the NI Netball Academy as top players in their age-group.
“On the Design and Technology front our Formula 1 in Schools teams once more covered themselves in glory with Team Eloquent Spin, comprising Jazmine Evangelista-Mcshane, Rae Branagh, Lucy McCrea and Stephanie Lindsay winning the team identity award whilst Team Dauntless, made up of Louise Hogg, Antoni Furmin, Jade McGrath and Rebecca Robinson qualified to represent NI in the World Finals.”
Mr Mulvenna closed his speech by paying tribute to the late Peter Arthurs, one of the school’s instrumental tutors who passed away earlier this year.