A large crowd of students, parents, guardians, staff and guests turned out at Coláiste Dún Iascaigh to honour the achievements and dedication of high-performing students in the past school year, when a special ceremony was held last week.
Coláiste Principal Mrs. Mary Finnegan-Burke welcomed in particular the Leaving Cert class of 2011 who had travelled from their various colleges to be present. She complemented the students on their dedication and hard work, and congratulated them on their achievements. She commended the teaching staff for their diligence to the students and the standards of excellence achieved in both the state and in-house exams, and joined with the Chairperson of the Parents’ Association Ronnie Quinlan in commending parents for their part in helping students to this high level of attainment.
Awards were presented to students who secured the overall best results in the year group, in each class group and for each subject. The Best in First Year award for 2011 was presented jointly to Roberta Kinciauskaite and Kenneth Conlon, with class awards going to Laura Casey, Brian Hickey, Eanna Heffernan, Caoimhe Hickey and Ceili Cowan. The top award for academic performance in Second Year was presented to Aisling Keating, and class awards were presented to Akvile Subaciute, Sean O’Reilly, William Dunne and Ian Burke. In Fifth year the overall award went to Laura Keating. Class awards were presented to Fiona Rees, Edel Linehan, Kevin Murphy, Jennifer Byrne Moloney, Klaudia Koziar and Pawel Wielgat.
The Junior and Leaving Cert classes of 2011 secured excellent results in the state exams and these achievements were acknowledged by all present on Friday night. The top award for Junior Cert was presented to Jessica Rowe, with awards for excellence in Junior Cert going to Henry Ballinger-McFarlane, Michaela Crosbie, Niamh Keating, Aaron Murphy, Kate Scanlon and Darren Sweeney. The award for Best Leaving Cert result 2011 was presented to Maurice Casey, and Thomas Sampson was presented with the trophy for best LCVP. The tradition of presenting Shields sponsored by retired teachers continues, and the names of the deserving students are now engraved on perpetual shields donated by Arthur O’Donnell (Engineering), Mary O’Donnell (Geography), Sr. Cecilia (Music), Riona Green (Business subjects), Dan Green (History), Gerry Grufferty (Maths and Applied Maths), Patsy McGuirk (Irish).
In 2006 to mark the tenth anniversary the Sisters of Mercy sponsored an award for the student who best embodied the spirit of the Coláiste. This year’s worthy recipient was Lynn Burke for her kindness, dedication and determination in all tasks.
This year the Coláiste launched a new award – the Díograis award. This award is designed to celebrate positive attributes such as endeavour, workrate, co-operation, willingness and hard work. It seeks to recognise students who are shining examples to their peers and who make a positive contribution to their class and year groups.
Students selected were presented with specially commissioned medals and certificates. Díograis award winners from First Year 2011 were Aishling Moloney, Marina Soliman, Arminas Meskauskas and Mary Condon O’Connor. Awards for Second Year 2011 were presented to Laura Dillon, Caoimhe Hickey, Brian Carroll and Coralie McNamara, while Fifth Year students honoured were Luke Doyle, Chloe Maher, Donna Casey, Stacey Shaw and Elizabeth Berry.
The achievements of eight students who have represented the Coláiste in Munster debating competitions were acknowledged. The prestigious Debater of the Year award went to Dean Buckley who has been the life and soul of the Debating Society, and whose razor-sharp intellect has enthralled colleagues and withered opponents since the founding of the Debating Society. The final awards were made to Fifth year Enterprise students for Best Product and Best Display at the recent Market Day.
Awards were presented by guest speakers Emma and Linda Williams, each past pupils of the Coláiste. In introducing them, the principal noted that like the tennis playing sisters of the same name, they are each a force to be reckoned with in their own fields. Emma completed her Leaving Cert in the Coláiste in 2004, her honours degree in Maths and Music in NUI Maynooth in 2007 and is currently working on her PhD thesis entitled “Brass Bands in Ireland: Musical Heritage and Cultural Contexts.” Linda completed her Leaving Cert in 2006 and went on to study biology in Maynooth. In 2010 she received a Health Research Board Scholarship for a PhD in Diagnostic and Therapeutics for Human Disease at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. She is now working on her research project for the PhD on colon cancer biology and in particular the expression of the transcription factor HSF1. Both Emma and Linda advised students to grasp every opportunity that comes their way both in their academic work and in the wide range of extra-curricular activities offered in the Coláiste, to work hard and to work on a consistent basis. Their message was that it is never too early or too late to make every day count. On behalf of the Coláiste, Chairman of the Board of Management Mr. Laim Ahearne made a special presentation to Emma and Linda, thanked them for their words of advise and wished them well on what will undoubtedly be careers of note.