Ardee Community School principal Mary Jackson paid tribute to the outstanding achievements of the student body at the annual awards day last week – and she is already looking forward to returning to a revamped school building in September.
The school breaks up at the end of the week as the 2016/17 academic year draws to a close – with only Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations left to sit for the current third and sixth year students. The teachers and administrative staff will relocate for the summer as extensive work goes on inside the current school building as part of an overall extension that is seeing a new build currently being constructed.
During the summer months, the school will see an extensive electrical and plumbing upgrade which will in turn see many areas of the current school building upgraded. Speaking to parents an pupils at Thursday’s award ceremony, Jackson said the work will all be worth it.
“We’ve had a great year in the school with our building project, our extension,” she said. “We’ll be moving out of this building in the coming weeks to facilitate the major building works that have to be done during the summer.
“It’s been challenging, but by June 2018 hopefully it will be worth it. I certainly hope it will be. We’ll have our fabulous new extension and by this September, there will be considerable works done here within the school. It will make our facilities better.
While facilities don’t make the school completely, it is important to have a comfortable environment to come into every week,” she continued. “People make the school. It’s what goes on in the classroom that makes the school, what goes on in the extra curricular activities that makes the school.”
Paying tributes to all of the students who picked up awards on the day – there were 66 awards handed out among the five year groups and many more earned certificates for the achievements – Ms Jackson made a point that it was “important to reward, award and recognise” the pupils.
“The teachers here get involved in nominating students across all the subjects and across all the disciplines in the school. We will present every student who got a nomination from their teachers with a certificate to mark that because we feel it is important to reward, award and recognise our student group,” she said.
“The awardees are hardworking, dedicated students who look to excel both in academic life, sporting life, activity life – who are ready to volunteer inside the class and outside the class if anything needs to be done.
Speaking to the student winners on the day, she urged them to continue to strive to be the best they can be in everything they do, saying that their presence at the awards ceremony was a testament to their work, and should be something the students aspire to be involved in every year.
“I know that you’re going to be here again and again to get these awards and there will be others that will come in and out but you will be here – and this stands to you, to do your very best in whatever you do. It’s not just about those who do so well academically. It’s about those who make every effort to do the best they can every day they come in here.”