Former students go top of the class — again

TWO former pupils were honoured by a County Cork school last night for their striking academic achievements.

St Mary’s secondary school in Macroom welcomed back Sarah Sheehan and Dr Sharon O’Connell as recipients during the annual Catherine McAuley Awards’ night.

Immediate past pupil Sarah, from Sleaveen West, Macroom, was honoured with the Best Leaving Cert award for achieving a remarkable eight As in 2003. Sarah secured a scholarship to University College Cork, where she is completing her first year in medical studies.

Also returning to her alma mater was Dr O’Connell from Railway View, Macroom, who received the Distinguished Past Pupil Award. From the class of 1993, she holds a PhD and is an analytical chemist with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

School principal Anne McGrath said the awards, in memory of the Mercy Order’s founder, were set up 10 years ago to recognise outstanding accomplishments.

“It’s a night of celebration for the school when we honour students and former pupils that have achieved high standards in many fields including music, art and sport,” she said. “In addition to academic achievements, the awards firmly demonstrate the diverse talents of our students.”

Ms McGrath added: “we have wonderful students and staff. There’s a great rapport between the pupils and their teachers and every individual student is known to all the teachers.”

Founded in 1866, the school facilitates 350 students. Also honoured last night were Laura Butler from Kilbarry and Grace Lehane from Macroom, selected for maths’ enrichment studies in UCC following their junior cert results. Laura was presented with the award for Best Junior Cert Results after achieving 10 As.

The school also saluted fifth-year student Briege (ok) Corkery from Coachford, an inter-county ladies’ football and camogie star, who has nine Munster and six All-Ireland winning medals.

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