A large crowd was present at Mitchelstown CBS on Friday last September 30th as the school honoured students’ achievements in academic excellence, special achievements and community involvement. Students and immediate past-pupils, parents and family members, staff and special guests were present to recognise achievements from the 2015/16 school year. Deputy Principal and M.C. Mr. Peter Acheson welcomed all present. In a school which prides itself on being a community Mr. Acheson noted the hugely important community role played by event sponsors Mitchelstown Credit Union and the Credit Union movement in general. Mitchelstown Credit Union has been a very generous sponsor of the CBS school awards for many years and were represented by Ian Malcolm. In his speech to those assembled, Ian quoted Nelson Mandela on the importance of education, and Yeats on how education is central to inspiring a thirst for learning. This year’s distinguished past pupil and special guest Dr. Paddy Ryan was introduced by CBS Principal Mary Hannon. Dr. Ryan, a native of Mitchelstown, is a member of the class of 1973 and has been a G.P. in Ballyphehane for 33 years. A director of the Cork G.P. training programme since 1995, he is also is a founder member of the Irish College of General Practitioners, involved in many of its committees and is a “Fellow” of the Royal College of General Practitioners. His speech was very well received and his easy manner, witty anecdotes and entertaining storytelling style were appreciated by all present. It was clear that much of what he learned during his time in school stayed with him over the years, and his recall of events and content hugely impressed the audience. Central to his speech were what he termed “pearls of wisdom” and included interesting insights on the importance of self-reflection, self-questioning and professionalism.
The first awards were presented for Special achievements in writing and in sport. William O’Connor and Richard Maher, both prize winners in national literature festivals over the past year, were recognised for their excellent achievements. County minor panellists Eoin O’Mahony, Padraig McGrath (Limerick football), James Keating (Cork hurling), Lorcan Finn, Cathail O’Mahony and Sean O’Sullivan (Cork football), Josh Macken and Adrian English (Tipperary football) and Colin English (Tipperary hurling and football) were honoured for their sporting achievements during the past year.
Community spirit awards were presented to James Creagh and to Stephen Skinner, while Jake Spillane received the Junior Merit award. Programme co-ordinator Ms. Carmel Ryan noted the unique contribution made by each to the school. Chemistry students Michael Lewis, Shane Fox, Fionn O’Leary and Kieran O’Doherty were recognised for their win in the prestigious Pfizer Chemistry Quiz in May, continuing a fine tradition of success for teams led by CBS Chemistry teacher Ms. Sharon Kelleher. Mitchelstown CBS has a proud record of participation in the Young Social Innovators competition. 2016 saw the C.A.L.F. (Calling All Little Farmers) group achieve national success as they were named Young Social Entrepreneurs of the Year and were awarded the National Bronze in the competition for the overall best project in YSI. The efforts of the four students – David Blackburne, Kevin Coleman, Colin Devaney and Richard Maher – were recognised by their mentor Ms. Ryan as each was presented with a commemorative award.
2016 was a memorable year for sporting success for Mitchelstown CBS. In his presentation of the sporting awards Mr. Willie Duggan emphasised the importance of teams, and reminded the winners that their success was a success for the team as well as for them as individuals. Individual awards were presented to Eoin Gallahue (Senior hurling), Jack Coughlan (Senior Football), Brian White (Senior soccer), Tomas Vaughan (Junior hurling), Mark Keane (Junior football) and Matthew Dawson Furey (Junior soccer).
Awards for excellence in subject areas were presented to a number of the members of the Leaving Cert class of 2016; to Michael Lewis (English), Ronan Murphy (Maths and Sciences), Jack Curtin (D.C.G.), Padraic Dennehy (Construction Studies) and William Fogarty (Ag. Science).
The ERST award is presented to the student who best embodies the characteristics of the ERST charter, and the award for 2016 was presented to Micheál Fogarty, while the Principal’s award went to Cahal O’Sullivan. In her citations, Mary Hannon commended both and noted the positive contributions each had made in many ways to the school community and beyond.
Student of the Year awards were made to students who achieved the top exam results in their year group. Citations were read by Ms. Michelle O’Keeffe and awards presented to Jack O’Shea (1st year 2015/16), Conor Davern (2nd Year) and Alan Murray (5th Year). The award for Student of the Year for Transition Year 2015/16 went to Richard Maher, and the LCA1 Student of the Year award was presented to Jack Fitzgerald.
Mitchelstown CBS has an established tradition of excellence in the state exams, and this was reflected in the very high standard achieved by the final award winners on the night. The award for Junior Cert 2016 was presented to Sean Power, who, as noted by Mr. Acheson, had achieved the top award as First Year and Second Year student also. The award for LCA went jointly to Shirai O’Donnell and Sean O’Sullivan. The Senior Student of the Year award was presented to three high-performing Leaving Cert students and very worthy recipients Shane Fox, Michael Lewis and Ronan Murphy. The evening concluded with light refreshments served by members of the Parent Council.