Laois students have been acknowledged for their high achievements at the Academic Awards for High Achievers in Laois and Offaly ETB Schools.
Students from eight Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) schools gathered for an inaugural academic awards evening in the Tullamore Court Hotel.
The event was attended by 43 students, all current or past pupils of Laois and Offaly ETB schools, and their families and friends.
The students received awards in recognition of their achievements in the Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied, or in the Junior Certificate, for 2017.
The highest achievers in the Leaving Certificate 2017, Leaving Certificate Applied, and in the Junior Certificate were honoured for their significant achievement in the relevant State Examinations.
All of the eighth LOETB schools nominated their top two students in each of the state exams, based on exam results. In total forty three students were honoured.
Speaking at the event Mr. Joe Cunningham, Chief Executive of Laois Offaly ETB, congratulated all of the students who achieved such high grades.
“We are delighted to mark the significant academic achievements of our Leaving Certificate students this year. Your results show that our ETB students achieve grades that are well above the national average and in many cases are in the top grades achieved nationally for the subjects they have studied”.
He commented that the vast majority of the Leaving Certificate students among us, had now gone on to Third Level Education, pursing courses that are traditionally regarded as high points’ courses.
“I am proud to note that you, our Leaving Certificate students of 2017 have taken your place on the national stage in Universities and at Institutes of Technology throughout the country”, he said.
In addition Mr Cunningham went on to congratulate the high achievers in this year’s Leaving Certificate Applied.
“I am especially delighted to welcome and celebrate the significant achievements of the students here who followed a Leaving Certificate Applied course in our schools.
"In particular I wish to make special mention about this distinct programme. Our schools provide the programme for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to third level education or for those whose needs, aspirations and aptitudes are not adequately catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes.
"I always look for the State Examination results in this programme, and this year I am especially proud of the magnificent results of all, and in particular the highest achievers in this programme, in their own respective schools," he said.
Mr Paul Fields, Director of Schools for Laois Offaly ETB, had a special word of praise for the highest academic achievers in the Junior Certificate this year.
He congratulated the students on their significant academic results.
“I have looked at the results that you have achieved and note that attendance at an ETB school has resulted in you all being classified as highest achievers, not only locally but also on a national basis.
"This is a moment of celebration not only for you, but also for your parents who put their trust in our ETB schools, and that trust has now been repaid in the very high results that you have achieved," he said.
Mr Fields also had special word of appreciation for all of the principals and teachers who had worked so hard to ensure that the best academic results could be achieved in all of our ETB schools.
“Today we are celebrating with our high achievers, we are celebrating achievement. However there are many success stories in our schools, many students who reach academic milestones that only they and their parents and teachers celebrate; these students are not with us this evening, but we wish also to give them a special mention, not only for their own achievements, but also for the contribution they make to our schools," he said.
Each of the students involved received a framed certificate and a small bursary. The event was supported by AIB who have a strong commitment locally to education and to the ETB.