The annual Kerry ETB Student Award ceremony took place on Friday 18 January in 2019. This is a key event in the annual calendar when Kerry ETB celebrates the achievements of students and learners from their Post Primary Schools and Youthreach centres.
Seventy-six student awards were presented at this ceremony which is a very special occasion for all of the Award Recipients, their Parents/Guardians, Families and Teachers. The Award Recipients are excellent role models for their Schools and Centres. Students received awards for academic excellence, involvement in school life, peer mentoring, Transition Year achievements and leadership.
Christina Fleming, former student of Kerry ETB School Castleisland Community College was the guest speaker on the night. Dr Christina Fleming, completed her Leaving Certificate in Castleisland Community College in 2006. She studied Medicine in University College Cork where she graduated 3rd in her class with First Class Honours in 2011 and was awarded the Pearson Medal and John Kelly Clinical Prize for achieving the highest marks in Surgery. She pursued surgical training through the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland during which time she completed a Masters in Surgery and Diploma in Human Factors. She currently works as a Specialist Registrar in Colorectal Surgery in University Hospital Limerick and is the Vice President of the Association of Surgeons in Training for Ireland and the UK. She has a keen interest in cancer research and has won both National and International research prizes for her work.
In his forward Colm McEvoy, CEO Kerry ETB stated “In 2018 Kerry ETB launched its new Education and Training Strategy Statement 2018-2022 setting out the strategic goals for the organisation. This award ceremony encapsulates many of the actions giving practical effect to the Strategic Goals for Quality Teaching and Learning, Innovative Education and Training Responses, Development of Productive Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement. The work in our schools and centres are underpinned by our core values of respect, quality, inclusion, equality and learning as we endeavour to provide a holistic education for our students.”
Ann O’Dwyer Director of Schools quoted Albert Einstein “education is not the learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think. The new JC Programme which we have been implementing in all our schools for the past four years really embraces this philosophy, where the focus is on learning to learn and as well as developing the ability to think and act critically and creatively. We also welcome the emphasis on students developing vital key skills for life such as: managing myself, communicating well, working in teams, being creative, managing information technology, presentation skills as well as core skills, writing and maths.” She also thanked the Principals and Staff in the schools who are constantly striving to be at the cutting edge in maths, business science, technology and the arts. She praised all the students from Killorglin Community College, Coláiste na Sceilge and Gaelcholaiste Trá Lí who were involved in this year’s Young Scientist Exhibition. Castleisland Community College were also commended for winning in this year’s Young Social Innovators with their project “Making our world a just and fair place”.
A special mention went to Eimear Ni Dhonnabháin from Coláiste na Sceilge, Róisin Ní Churraí and Brian MacAmhlaoibh from Gaelcholaiste Chiarraí who achieved maximum points in their leaving cert and were awarded ‘Best Overall Academic Excellence Awards’.
Cllr. Jim Finucane, Cathaoirleach of Kerry Education and Training Board said that he was delighted to be associated with the annual Student Awards event and commended the students on their outstanding achievements. He acknowledged that these awards recognise both academic achievement as well as overall participation in the life of the school.
Kerry ETB also thanked Mr Oliver Murphy, President of Tralee Institute of Technology (Tralee IT) for hosting the ceremony in the IT and Ms Breeda O’Dwyer who addressed the audience.
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