Pupils, parents, carers, staff, governors and guests joined together for the annual awards evening at Ballyclare Secondary School recently.
Guests of honour at the event were Mr and Mrs Euel Agnew. Mrs Agnew served as a teacher at the Doagh Road school for over 30 years until her retirement in August. During that time she held a number of positions including head of the geography department and primary school liaison officer.
During her annual report, principal Kathryn Bell praised the efforts made by pupils and staff throughout the year.
She outlined the excellent standards achieved by pupils at A Level, GCSE Level and in the Cambridge Technical Business Course, pointing out how more pupils than ever before are staying on at Ballyclare Secondary to continue with their studies in sixth form.
Mrs Bell also highlighted other academic successes, including the work carried out in conjunction with Ballyclare High School, and the varied curriculum which can be studied by pupils at the school.
The wide range extra curricular activities, along with the successes of the music department, Home Economics department, the charity work carried out by the school and the many sporting triumphs all received special mention from the principal.
Mrs Bell commended the teaching staff for their efforts over the past 12 months, and thanked the Board of Governors and the Education Authority for their ongoing support and encouragement.
She highlighted the issues affecting secondary education, commenting on the current proposals for Area Based Planning and explaining how Ballyclare Secondary was currently benefiting from inclusion in the School Enhancement Programme.
Mrs Bell detailed the major new extension to the school providing a new state-of-the-art Home Economics suite, Drama and Performing Arts facilities, a new entrance hall and a significant number of new classrooms. She welcomed the investment in the school by the Department of Education at a time when there are such tight constraints on the public purse, and said that she is looking forward to the enhanced learning and teaching environment the work will provide for young people and staff.
In closing her annual report, Mrs Bell welcomed the new members of the Board of Governors and thanked them for their dedication, faithful attendance at meetings and contribution to the school.
She concluded by paying tribute to students and staff alike for their contribution in making it “a year of outstanding success and progress.”