The 6th Year Gradation took place on Friday 17th November. This year the graduation was split into three sections.
The opening section of the ceremony took place in the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones. The ceremony was lead by Fr. John Daly and Fr. Gerard Keane. The opening song of 'Time of Your Life' set the tone for the graduation. There were a large number of students involved throughout. Deputy Head Boy, Jordan Nevin, and Deputy Head Girl, Aoife McTague, provided commentary for Niamh, Ethan, Hannah, Nathan, Olivia, Tim and Aidan as they brought forward symbols that represented their time in secondary school. The Prayers of the Faithful were carefully chosen with each segment focused on the influences that impacted upon students throughout their time in secondary school. The following section on the passing of the candle contained readings from a teacher, parent, Deputy Principal, and a first year student who will not graduate until 2024! There was time for a final blessing from Fr. Daly before a moving rendition of 'Three Little Birds' sung by the choir and accompanied by Mr. Ó Donnchadh on guitar. School Principal, Ms. O' Doherty then invited students, parents and teachers back to the school for the second part of the graduation. Well done to everyone who took part in the service, particularly the religion department, the choir and Mr. Ó Donnchadh who stepped in at the last minute to deputise for Gavin on guitar.
Once the congregation were all seated in the school hall, Ms. O' Sullivan, 6th Year Year Head, welcomed students, parents and teachers to the school. Ms. O' Doherty and Mr. Carey both made poignant speeches which highlighted some of their own memories of the class of 2019 and wished them good fortune in their future. Next up it was Head Boy, Tom Cleary, and Head Girl, Rachel Purcell who presented tokens of appreciation to several members of the school community. They also discussed some of their favourite memories of their time in St. David's. Perhaps the highlight for many was the slideshow of photographs that were carefully chosen to show the progression of the class of 2019 through secondary school. The penultimate act in this segment invited tutors to call their respective roles for their class one last time. As Ms. Doughty, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Davies and Mr. Ryan progressed through their class lists each student was presented with a certificate of graduation from Ms. O' Doherty and Mr. Carey, along with a copy of this year's edition of the school magazine, Chalkdust. The last award to be handed out was Student of the Year. Ms. O' Sullivan had already covered the long list of nominations in her opening remarks. The Rotary Club then presented the joint winners of the award for 2019. Both Sinead Mahon and Rachel Purcell received the same number of nominations for the prestigious accolade and share the prize.
The final section of the graduation consisted of some light refreshments and photographs in the dining area. A massive thank you to the parents' association for all of their hard work in organising the refreshments. Well done to all involved and best of luck in your upcoming exams from all at St. David's!