Gallen CS celebrated its annual Academic Awards Ceremony in the School on Friday last where students were rewarded for their achievements over the last year.
The Guest of Honour was Mr Gerry Duffy, a renowned motivational speaker.
"The school also welcomed Mr Kevin Gavin, Chairperson Gallen CS Board of Management, Mr Paddy Egan, Chairperson of Ferbane Credit Union, Mr Joe Grennan, Secretary Ferbane Credit Union, Mrs Geraldine Keena, Chairperson Gallen CS Parents Association and Mrs Arlene Guinan, Secretary of Gallen CS Parents Association.
Firstly, Mr Paddy Egan presented a cheque for €1,800 to the Gallen CS Cluny Unit on behalf of Lynx cycling club, some of whose members were present on the day. Mrs Dermody and Mrs Finnegan accepted the cheque on behalf of the Cluny Unit. Mr Egan spoke warmly of the great success that the Lynx Cycle for Cluny was and thanked every one for their hard work and support on the day.
Mr Kevin Gavin congratulated all the students on their academic success and spoke of the Gallen CS holistic approach to education. Mr Gavin commended teachers, students and their parents. Mrs Frances Scully then introduced the Award Categories.
The Recognition of Endeavour / Random Acts of Kindness and Committment to School Life 2016-17 were new awards this year and for First Year students, these awards went to Alanna Rosney, Emma Moore, Mollie Flynn, Elena Dunican, Ava Grace Egan, Eoin Sheridan, Katie Doyle, Orla Hynes, Aimee mc Kenna, Nathan Dunican, Wiktoria Leszcznska, Conor Gleeson, Conor Kelly Anderson, Megan Taylor, Claudia Egan, Roisin Mannion, Moya Guinan, Emma Cahill, Katie Flynn, Conor Brazil, Casey Lonican and Moya Ibbotson. These awards were presented by Ms Molly Roche.
The First Year Academic Award with the criteria being best results in 7 subjects in Summer Tests 2017 went to
Moya Ibbotson, St Mel's Class and Mollie Flynn, St Colmans Class. Mrs Arlene Guinan presented the Awards.
In Second Year the Recognition of Endeavour Awards 2016-17 went to Nicole Buckley, Jennifer Egan, Katie Flaherty, Jennifer Arnold Ffion Anderson, Rachel Bracken, Jenny Darcy, Sean Delaney, Luke Dolan, Cian Egan, Lauren Monaghan, Kira Hackett, Sarah Malone, Claudia Newman, Ruben o Reilly, Amber Poland, Lauren Buckley, Siobhan Mc Kenna, Leona Delaney, Zoe Tighe and Oisin Fitzgerald.
The Second Year Academic Award Winners with the criteria being best results in 7 subjects in Summer Tests 2017 were Kira Hackett [St Ciarans], Ffion Anderson [St Cynocs] and Alex Nikolajevs [St Kevins]. Mrs Geraldine Keena presented Ffion, Kira and Alex with their awards.
In Third Year the Recognition of Endeavour Awards 2016-17 went to Adam Johnson, Aaron Brazil, Adam Fletcher, Ross Mc Loughlin, Charlotte Healy, Orla Duffy, Stephanie Arnold, Claire Kenny, Keelan Murray, Shane Coughlan, Alisa Murphy, Claire Brazil, Shanneesse Bolton and Laura Egan. Mrs Jordan presented these awards.
Mr Kevin Gavin presented Tara Dunican and Bronagh Coughlan with their 5th Year Academic Awards for achieving best results in 6 subjects in Summer Tests 2017.
The Awards Ceremony then moved onto to recognise those students who achieved excellence in the State Examinations 2017.
Mr Paddy Egan and Mr Joe Grennan presented the Junior Certificate Awards for excellent results to Ross Mc Loughlin, Claire Kenny and Ciaran Mannion.
Mr Egan and Mr Grennan then presented Kate Kenny with the Credit Union Junior Certificate Award for best results in 10 subjects at higher level, duly commending Kate on her outstanding results.
The Excellence in Leaving Certificate Awards went to Emma Dolan, Killian Egan, Natalia Hanczka and Tracey Murphy and they were presented with their awards by Mr Gavin and Mr Gerry Duffy.
The John Sugrue Memorial Cup for Art commemorates the late John Sugrue and recognises the student with the Best Leaving Certificate result in Art.
The Sugrue family continue to be great supporters of Gallen CS and this award will be presented at a later date to Lorna Kelly.
The Board of Management Scholarship for Best Leaving Certificate Results went to Sarah Kenny who was presented with her award by Mr Gavin and Mrs Finnegan.
With the Formal part of the Academic Awards ceremony now concluded it was time for Guest of Honour Mr Gerry Duffy to speak.
As a winner of the Deca Ironman and as someone who ran 32 marathons in 32 days in every county of Ireland, Gerry's observations were worth listening to.
Gerry spoke of how school had been a struggle for him and how at the age of 27 he decided to fundamentally change his approach to life.
Gerry spoke of motivation being the key. You need goals in life he said and you also must ask yourself, 'what must I do to get better?'
To be better you have to stretch yourself, take your opportunities when they knock and think outside the box, he said.
"It is important to realise the power of education to harness your potential," he said, citing the example of All Ireland winning Donegal GAA coach Jim McGuinness who went back to do his Leaving Cert at 22 and said it unlocked his untapped potential.
Gerry reminded his audience that the highest standard you aim for is one where you strive to do your best,
He said persistence and resilience is the key to success, saying that you must leave your comfort zone and prepare to be uncomfortable to succeed, citing Walt Disney whose business ideas were rejected by 301 banks before the 302nd bank gave him a break.
"Do whatever it takes to succeed," he said, "success after all is failure turned inside out."
Gallen CS thanked everyone for attending and those who helped out with the Academic Awards Ceremony.
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