24 Sept 2022

'Over the moon' Laois student of the year achieves top Leaving Cert grade

'Over the moon' Laois student of the year achieves top Leaving Cert grade

St Mary's CBS Leaving Cert student DJ White with his dad, teacher Adrian White.

A Laois student who was awarded Student of the Year in his school has scooped the highest marks possible in the Leaving Cert.

St Mary's CBS Portlaoise graduate DJ White who is a Portlaoise Senior Footballers, scored 625 marks in the 2022 exams.

"It's a bit surreal, I'm over the moon," he told the Leinster Express.

DJ whose father Adrian is a teacher in CBS, is planning to study physiotherapy at Limerick University.

"I am massively into sport and I really like biology too, the rehab side, how the body can repair itself. I was lucky enough that Covid really only affected us in part of fifth year, and very lucky that my teachers weren't absent with it in 6th year," said DJ, who plans to celebrate with friends first before heading out to Electric Picnic for the weekend.

Marc Bracken from Portlaoise got 601 points.

"I'm absolutely delighted, I can't believe it," he said.

He hopes to study Law in UCD, and is very lucky to have accommodation sewn up.

"My aunties are from Dublin so I'll get a room there, but I hope to get back down for training at Portlaoise Rugby club," he said.

"The wait was painful, it was hanging over my head all summer I was so worried," said Marc, a son of Marie and Tom Bracken.

Other high scorers include Sam Sunni, Stephen Matai, Luke McGunnigle and Jason Horan all with over 550 points.

Half of the CBS Higher Maths and the Computer Science students achieved an A3 or higher, while two thirds of Higher Level English students gained A3s or higher. About 20 students got over 500 points at the boys secondary school.

Below: Principal Maura Murphy with Sam Sunni, Marc Bracken and Dara Phelan. 

Principal Maura Murphy congratulated all of the Leaving Cert year, some 150 lads.

"I want to congratulate the students and commend our committed staff of teachers and SNAs who worked so hard to help this year group through Covid and the constant uncertainty during their Leaving Cert. Our teachers work hard to help each student achieve their own potential, as our motto is 'from each their best'. 

However she said that deciphering the new online grading spreadsheets was "a nightmare" as they tried to read what each student got and their overall marks.

"Having said that, they are all very happy with their results. A good few came in to talk to our guidance teachers and they are very happy, very relieved," she said.

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