There was great excitement throughout the county last Wednesday as news filtered through that one student had received 12As in the 2014 Junior Certificate exams.
Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon in particular were thrilled to discover that Emma Donohoe, daughter of Annie and Paul, Carrickboy, had become one of just four students nationwide to earn 12As in the exams.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” smiled Principal Josephine Donohue. “We’re thrilled for her.” Ms Donohue also revealed that Emma is their third student in the past four years to earn such a result.
“I didn’t expect it, I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Emma told the Leader.
Speaking about the moment she opened her results, the 15-year-old Transition Year student laughed, “I kind of talked to one of my friends - she was the first to know - and I was kind of hyperventilating at that stage.”
Aware from that morning that only four in the country had earned 12As, Emma says that the photographs and interviews that followed ‘added to how surreal the whole thing was’.
A member of the local kayaking club, Emma added that her love of music helped her to relax while studying for the exams.
The top marks didn’t stop there, as Meán Scoil Mhuire had a triple triumph, with three students - Lisa Compton, Marie Lynch and Wiktoria Glogowska - securing an impressive 11As, an achievement which was also celebrated by Cnoc Mhuire Granard’s Elizabeth Larenz, daughter of Monika and Bertram who own a craft shop in Granard.
Over in Lanesboro Community College, Principal Jimmy Flanagan happily proclaimed that last Wednesday was ‘a wonderful, happy day’. “Everybody was absolutely delighted,” he continued.
The Lanesboro school were also celebrating top marks, as Mark Lyons opened his results on Wednesday morning to see 10As.
“It’s a very, very proud morning,” said Deputy Principal Michael Lyons. “I’m delighted that he and all the other students achieved so well.”
Fifth year student Mark said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ with his results.
“When I was walking in I certainly didn’t expect 10As,” he revealed.
Admitting that he was very nervous on Wednesday morning last, the Lanesboro native, son of Michael and Mary, added that it was ‘good knowing all the work was worth it’.
Awarded second place in his category at the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition when he was in first year, Mark is also heavily involved in extra-curricular activities at school, including debating and football. He credited these activities with helping him during study, saying, “It helped break everything up and vent some of the anxiety”.
Now facing into fifth year, Mark was quick to acknowledge the hard work of his teachers, stating that his results were as much a reflection of the teachers’ work as his own.