A hat-trick of academic awards for local trio of trainee teachers

Rachael Jess (pictured with fellow winner Jason Price) receiving their awards from Dr Clifford Boyd, who recently retired as Vice Principal of Stranmillis and was the Chief Guest Speaker at the Awards Celebration event.
Rachael Jess (pictured with fellow winner Jason Price) receiving their awards from Dr Clifford Boyd, who recently retired as Vice Principal of Stranmillis and was the Chief Guest Speaker at the Awards Celebration event.
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Local students - Hayley Thompson, Sarah Ann McCullough and Rachael Jess - bagged a hat-trick of prestigious awards for outstanding academic achievement from Stranmillis University at the College’s recent Awards Ceremony.

Hayley picked up The Kathleen McSherry Prize, which is awarded to the highest achieving student in Early Childhood Studies.

Hayley Thompson pictured with Dr Clifford Boyd.

Hayley Thompson pictured with Dr Clifford Boyd.

Hayley, from Banbridge, is a former pupil of Ballydown Primary School, and Banbridge High School and Banbridge Academy.

The Robert Simpson Award is awarded to the final year student who is adjudged to have made the greatest contribution to the Music Department.

The Award this year was won by Sarah Ann McCullough from Dromore. Sarah is an ex-pupil of Dromore Central Primary School and Friend’s School, Lisburn.

Completing the trio, Rachael was awarded the Mahon Prize for the student who obtained the highest percentage of marks in the final examinations on the B.Ed Primary Education degree.

Rachael was a pupil at Bridge Integrated Primary School and Banbridge Academy.

Commenting on their awards, Dr Anne Heaslett, Principal of Stranmillis University College said, “At Stranmillis, our aim is to make a real and lasting impact on the lives of children.

“Ensuring that we produce teachers and educators who are trained and equipped to meet the needs of today’s demanding educational environment is vital.

“We also need to be constantly researching and developing fresh and innovative professional practice that will drive and shape a better and more informed learning environment.

“Quality teaching, innovative and impact-driven research, and continuing professional development are the cornerstones of everything we do at Stranmillis.”

“Hayley, Sarah and Rachael typify the outstanding talent that Stranmillis is unleasing into the education sector.

“Their awards are a reflection of their dedication, passion, innovative thinking and sheer hard work.

“Our congratulations go to Hayley, Sarah and Rachael, their parents and all the schools and teachers who have helped nurture and shape the potential of these outstanding young people.”

Hayley, Sarah and Rachael (pictured with fellow winner Jason Price) are pictured receiving their award from Dr Clifford Boyd, who recently retired as Vice Principal of Stranmillis and was the Chief Guest Speaker at the Awards Celebration event.