Students’ achievements recognised at Ballyclare High prize event

Academic excellence was rewarded during a prize-giving ceremony at Ballyclare High School last week.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 7:13 pm

The guest speaker for the event on September 23 was former Head Boy, Michael McKinstry.

Mr McKinstry, who is CEO of Phoenix Natural Gas, has served as a governor of the Rashee Road school for 11 years. Addressing those in attendance, Principal, Dr Michelle Rainey, said:” Traditionally my speech has had to be a long narrative of all the accomplishments enjoyed by our pupils during the year.

“School closures and restrictions narrowed down many opportunities that we all normally enjoy beyond the classroom, but we must be mindful, that living in the shadow of Covid last year wasn’t entirely limiting.

Sean Toal received the Bell Award for progress in MIA and Grace Nolan the Stevenson Prize for porgress in Mathematics.

“It brought other endeavours to the fore, and perhaps most explicitly, it dialled up important virtues in us all such as kindness, tolerance and working together.

“Congratulations must be extended to all, whose dedication and efforts have brought such great reward, despite the challenges. The drive, the determination and the fun to be had in school is contagious and we are looking forward to more normal routines during the year ahead.

“It is very difficult to do justice to the huge amount of excellent work going on in school on an occasion like this. It’s also difficult to do justice to recognition for all associations and organisations that are part of Ballyclare High School.”

Dr Rainey added: “We are blessed with such a talented and dedicated staff who empower you and each other to be the best they can be. We have a support staff second to none.

The Joanne Downey Memorial Cup for excellence in French and German was awarded to Anna McBride.

“Our governors, wholly committed to us and are priceless contributors too, and I extend to them my personal gratitude for all we have accomplished this year.

“Parents and friends who lean-in add just another little special ingredient to the melting pot of success. All of us are ‘part of Ballyclare High School.’

“Our motto, industria et probitate, hard work and honesty, is the foundation of the values and behaviours we commit to and hold each other accountable for and that is our strength as you leave our halls as fine and upstanding members of our community and society.

“Congratulations. You are the champions of academic progress and achievement and you deserve all the praise. We are so very proud of all of you.

Top GCSE students Robyn McCollam 11A star grades and James Spence with 10A star grades with some of their subject trophies.

“May the trophies and awards, the words of recognition and the thrill of your teachers and your families, afford you a time to shine.”


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Winner of both the Brann Medallions for Literacy and Scientific Achievement Andrew Doherty.
Ballyclare High Award winners Joanna Nesbitt, Bury Prize for Nutrition and Food Sciecne with Emily Proctor winner of the Michael Prize for History.
Ballyclare High Award winners, Emily Shiels, Art and Annabel Wilkinson, Economic Awareness and English.
Guest of Honour Mr Michael McKinstry with Principal Dr Rainey and Head Boy Peter Gillespie and Deputy Head Girls Daisy Johnston and Olivia Boyd.