Notre Dame’s third annual Stella Maris Awards event took place on the evening of 27 April, presided over by Bishop Marcus, who presented each of the College’s gold achieving students with a golden star badge to represent their achievement.
Gold award students show progress in the development of their character, living by the Stella Maris virtues, and showing initiative and leadership in organising charity events, student assemblies etc. or by meeting and overcoming major personal or family challenges.
The awards event took place in the beautiful chapel at Notre Dame, which was full of proud students and their family members and friends, all waiting to see Bishop Marcus make the presentations. Other guests included: Canon Timothy Swinglehurst, Episcopal Vicar for Education for the Diocese of Leeds; Kieron Flood, Diocesan Director of Education, and Rachel Rouse, Deputy Director; Dr Ann Marie Mealey, Director of Catholic Mission, and Deputy Dean Dr Duncan Martin from Leeds Trinity University. The College also invited guests from its Catholic Partnership schools as well as from All Saints High School, York, and St John Fisher High School in Dewsbury and St John Fisher, Harrogate.
The event began with a welcome speech from College Principal, Justine Barlow, followed by music from the Senior Girls Cathedral Choir led by Tom Leech, Director of the Schools Singing Programme, Diocese of Leeds. Chair of Governors David Wright read St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 4:8, then Mgr Paul Grogan gave the address, reflecting on the challenges that young people face. After further beautiful choral music, Justine described some of the exceptional actions that led to the students receiving this prestigious award, such as caring for a sick grandparent.
The moment came for the students to be in the spotlight, each one collecting their gold award from Bishop Marcus, who couldn’t have been more pleased to be celebrating with them. After Justine brought the event to a close,
Bishop Marcus posed for a photograph with the inspirational award winners, then the evening ended with a reception and light buffet in the College’s upper study area.
Comments from attending guests included, “The occasion was lovely, and it was impressive to hear about the work undertaken by students to receive the award. Thank you for letting us be a part of this wonderful, positive event.”