‘Inspirational’ was the word of the night as St Mary’s College picked up the inspirational young talent and inspirational educator titles.
Clare Doherty won the inspirational educator award. Clare has taught Technology and Engineering in St. Mary’s College for 20 years and has been head of the department for 12 years.
In her nomination form Clare was praised for the many courses she has taken on this year, successfully completing an online course in assessment for learning in STEM teaching, and receiving her Crest Teacher Award.
Keenly aware of the needs of the local economy, Clare provides pupils with every opportunity to pursue STEM pathways. Her technology department not only offers technology at GCSE and A-Level but also GCSE and A-Level Engineering.
These pathways have proved very popular not only with pupils from St Mary’s College but also sixth form pupils from other schools including grammar schools.
Clare was also involved in planning and designing the recently launched Step Up Engineering programme at Ulster University. This is a support programme for Post 16 engineering pupils run by UU aligned to the CCEA Technology course.
Clare also runs a hugely successful entrepreneurship week as part of global entrepreneurship week. She also holds a toast and technology breakfast for all students in the Foyle Learning Community.
She even managed to get her pupils’ course work exhibited on the top floor of Austins. They were so popular, customers wanted to buy them.
Her nomination form states: “Clare is a great teacher who inspires everyone, not just our pupils, but our staff and the wider school community.
“She is also a great role model for all young people especially young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and maths - STEM. She is thoroughly deserving of the inspirational educator of the year award.”
St Mary’s College principal Marie Lindsay nominated headgirl Kennedy Keeney Robinson for the inspirational young talent award.
Mrs Lindsay described Kennedy as a talented young lady who uses her talents to impact positively far beyond the school gates.
“She has talents, skills and charisma that would be the envy of many of our civic and political leaders,” she said.
Among her many accolades is Kennedy’s membership of the European Youth Capital Advisory Board bidding for Derry to become the European Youth Capital 2019. She was selected as one of a select group of young people working with a QUB focus group and the PSNI to find ways of improving policing in the Derry/Strabane area.
Kennedy was one of the eight original pupils involved in leading the ‘Amazing the Space’ project which will see 5,000 pupils come together on the Maze/Long kesh site on International Peace Day 2016 to celebrate the peace pledges written by schools.
“Kennedy is a role model who can influence young people about issues that affect them,” said Mrs Lindsay. “Along with a fellow pupil from Lisneal College she did an excellent presentation on cyber bullying to pupils from St Mary’s, Lisneal and St Cecilia’s College Colleges as part of the shared education programme.”
Kennedy also spoke to Year 12 pupils about their A-Level choices and Year 13 pupils about life in the sixth form.
“What is most impressive about Kennedy is that she has never faltered in her commitment helping others in spite of her own medical condition having had major back surgery and missing six weeks of school in 2014/15.
“Kennedy is an inspirational young talent who has used her talent very well to help others within in the school, in the city and beyond the school.”