Chinese and drivers ed certificates awarded to Transition Years at a Portlaoise School

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Portlaoise school St Mary's CBS celebrated the end of a great Transition Year with an awards ceremony on Thursday May 17.

Led by their coordinator Eadaoin O'Connell, the evening was a joyous gathering of parents and students filled with music, awards presentations and tasty treats provided by Martina Murphy and her team of chefs.

Mr Thompson, deputy principal gave the opening address, which set the tone of celebration and recognition of the many students who contributed to the programme in so many positive ways.

The overall Student of the Year went to Thomas Dunne whose many acolades include the scripting and directing of an award winning play.

The Student Leadership award deservedly went to Dylan Kerry who produced along with Anton Ozolins a magnificent TY Yearbook and stage managed the TY Entertainment night.

The most Improved award went to Aaron Lynott. Almost all students received their Bronze Gaisce medals.

Ms. O'Connell spoke of the success of the five short courses which included an introduction to Chinese Language and culture, a course given by a teacher from the Confucius Institute in UCD, a first for the school. 

Guest Mary Heaney representing the Portlaoise Toastmasters and The Rotary Club,  gave an inspiring speech before presenting Conor McEvoy Duff with First prize in the Rotary Club Young Writers competition. She kindly complimented the boys on the impressive number of entries and was encouraging of their creative skills.

A huge number of awards were given out along with the many certificates for the various courses, including the Mock Trial, the Healthy Lifestyle programme and the Driver Ed course, another first for St Mary's. 

Ms Gillson thanked the loyal employers who were so generous with their time in mentoring the students every Wednesday. 

Lively music was played by Sean Lewis , Cian MacGearailt and Alain Carroll who had performed at the National Concert Hall the previous week, and Ms Quinlan's ukelele group brought the evening to a joyous end.

The school issued a big thank you to their coordinator Eadaoin O'Connell who continues to improve what has always been a very dynamic and successful programme.