St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, held their annual awards ceremony on Friday 16th May. Over six hundred excited students and staff crammed into the Sports Hall for what is the highlight of the school year at St. Mary’s.
In attendance was special guest, Minister of State Seán Sherlock. A native of Mallow, Minister Sherlock noted the ‘tremendous energy’ of staff and students at St. Mary’s. He gave credit to the Mercy ethos that has seen the school produce, year after year, ‘well-grounded individuals’. Minister Sherlock described a ‘sea of young faces’, well-educated and schooled in ‘social justice’. He noted that he would like to see more women in positions of leadership. Girls from St. Mary’s should aim to become PHD graduates, presidents of universities, of Ireland or even our country’s first female Taoiseach. He congratulated Yvonne Bane, Principal, and the teachers for their passion and commitment to ‘higher order thinking’, especially in the areas of maths and science.
Awards are given to students in areas such as music, sport, history, business, art, languages and science as well as a series of special awards. Noreen Burke, sixth year, was given a special attendance award. Noreen has completed six years at St. Mary’s with perfect attendance. However, the major award is the overall student of the year from Leaving Cert. This year’s award went to Nell O’Sullivan. Her fellow students describe her as ‘hardworking’, ‘courteous’ , ‘she gets on with everyone, and often goes out of her way to help others’.
Entertainment was provided by the senior choir who rocked the hall with a rendition of ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’. Similarly, sixth year duo Ciara Doherty and Niamh O’Reilly had everyone on their feet, singing along to ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ and ‘Mrs. Robinson’.
In 2012 the school introduced the Catherine McAuley award. The award is named after the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy who said, ‘no work of charity can be more productive of good society than the careful instruction of young women’. The 2014 award went to LCA students Gina Dunne and Leanne Relihan for their selfless help with the homework club. The award was presented by Philip Comyn, Chairperson of St. Mary’s Secondary School’s board of management, and Sr. Ann Maria, LCA Co-Ordinator.
The 2014 ceremony also sought to honour the unheralded work of various non-curricular clubs/projects. For example, a special award was given to the World Book Day Committee who worked feverishly to make this year’s event, held on 6th March, a huge success.
The ceremony ended with the entire school community singing along to the Script’s ‘Hall of Fame’ and enjoying a slideshow of images looking back on another ‘tremendous’ year for St. Mary’s Secondary School.