The annual Junior Prizegiving was held at Loreto College Coleraine on June 27, as the academic year drew towards its conclusion.
The Prizegiving highlights the academic, personal, extra-curricular and inter-personal successes of the Year 8-10 students of the College and is a celebration and commendation of these achievements and qualities.
Welcoming the Year 8-10 students and their teachers to the Prizegiving, Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College, said: “You are all very welcome to our Junior Prize-giving at the end of another very busy and successful year for the College, although unfortunately another year wrought with sadness. As we were preparing for our Christmas Tests, the whole school community was shocked by the tragic and untimely death of year 10 pupil, Reece Meenan.
“And whether as a close friend, an acquaintance, a teacher or staff member, we were all touched in some way by his death. Although we cannot fully understand this loss of life, we recognise that we were enriched in some way by Reece’s presence in our community and we continue to keep him, his family and his friends in our thoughts and prayers.
“In the midst of the sadness felt by our extended community, I was very heartened by your response and the genuine sense of togetherness that developed. As ever, your humanity and support for each other left me humbled and filled with admiration.
“There has also been much to be grateful for and to celebrate this year. Our academic results saw us, once again, placed in the top fifteen schools in Northern Ireland in the annual league tables. These performances at both GCSE and A Level confirm Loreto College as the leading school in the area and this is something of which everyone here should feel rightly proud. And today, as we celebrate the academic successes of you our Junior School, we are aware that it is your performances that will lead to continued success in the future.
“Having just completed all the Junior reports I am glad to say that this group of students in front of me has been able to maintain the high standards of previous years and I congratulate you all on your hard work and efforts.
“This year, as well as academic success, various individuals and teams enjoyed sporting successes. Who can forget the wonderful performance of our Y11 boys winning a Senior Ulster title in Gaelic football for the first time; or the musical brilliance of our traditional group playing at the Siansa final; as well as the fantastic success of our Young Scientists gaining the title as best school in Northern Ireland?
“We realise that each Loreto student brings a unique presence that adds so much to the life of the school and today we celebrate the talents and abilities of each and every one of our pupils, not just our prize winners.”
Mr James also paid tribute to some members of staff who retired at the end of term.
“At this time of year, we also take time to thank those staff members who will not be returning next year as they move on to pastures new and to different challenges. This year in particular we say a fond farewell to Mr Cunning, Mr McGouran and Mr McKay, who together have a combined service of 105 years here in Loreto.
“Their enthusiasm and commitment to their students has been a hallmark of their time here in Coleraine and although no-one is irreplaceable it will be hard to replicate the unique qualities they have brought during their time in Loreto. We wish them well in their retirement.”