THERE were celebrations all around at a primary school in Victoria Bridge this week after it scooped a hat-trick of awards at the Families First NI awards.
St Eugene’s Primary School was named ‘Best Rural School’ and ‘Best Community School’ at the glitzy awards ceremony held in Sligo at the weekend.
School principal, Gavin Gallagher, also took home the ‘Best Principal in a Small School’ accolade – completing a clean sweep in all the categories the school was nominated in.
Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Gallagher said there is a “real buzz” around the rural school with staff, pupils and the wider community all delighted with the success.
“It was very unexpected but we are all delighted. We were up for a number of awards but we didn't anticipate in anyway that we would come away with a haul of three awards. It was an honour to be nominated in the categories, let alone to win.
“It’s great recognition for the staff, pupils and the wider school community as well as the local community here in Victoria Bridge. It’s a real team effort here. Personally, I’m delighted to have picked up the individual award but again that’s an award that is testament to the school and the environment we have created here.
“The three awards are affirmation for us that what we are doing for our pupils is appreciated by the parents and indeed, the local community. Our core business is education and making sure the children leave school with the skills they need but St Eugene’s is about so much more than that. The awards recognise the community ethos here and the care given to all pupils.”
Mr Gallagher picked up the awards at a ceremony in the Sligo Park Hotel and says the news has created much excitement within the school this week.
“It was a great night and I was delighted to be there representing the school. All three awards are for the entire school community who help make this the brilliant school that it is. The children and the staff are over the moon, they are delighted.
“There is great excitement and a real buzz. There is always a really positive atmosphere in St Eugene's but we are all delighted with the haul of awards. We are very proud and humbled. I would like to thank all the staff, parents and the Victoria Bridge community for their continued support of the school.”