STAFF and Pupils at Lochgelly High School were delighted to welcome parents, carers, family, friends and special guests to their annual Senior Awards Ceremony at the Lochgelly Centre.

This very special event is one of the highlights of the summer term, and a wonderful way to celebrate all the achievements and successes of senior pupils.

Everyone was warmly welcomed to the evening by Debbie Aitken, rector of Lochgelly High School, who was attending her first Senior Awards Ceremony after taking up her post last year. She highlighted many of the wonderful events, activities and accomplishments which have taken place at the school in the last year and thanked the community for their continued support.

The main highlight, of course, was the young people themselves. Awards were presented for Academic Achievement, Outstanding Achievement and for pupils who have demonstrated their Personal Academic Best this year, with each pupil receiving a warm round of applause, and some cheers, from their family and friends. Special awards, Colours awards and a wide range of trophies were also presented, to great acclaim. Presentations were also made to School Captains, Cian Kinnell, Megan Hargrave and Lauren O’Hagan and the Dux of Lochgelly High School, the highest academic award presented on the night, was awarded to Sam Jowitt in S6.

The awards were presented on the night by Professor Harry Campbell, from the University of Edinburgh, who also spoke to the audience about his journey from childhood learning at Denend Primary School to working all around the world in Healthcare and Public Health roles. His message to the young people and their families focused on having courage, being resilient, and taking opportunities in order to “get the best start to becoming the future you”. The links with the LHS values of respect, responsibility and resilience came through loud and clear and the audience responded warmly to his words.

Another presenter who was warmly welcomed on the night was Alan Fernie, brother of Ray Fernie, a much loved former LHS teacher who sadly passed away earlier this year. Alan was introducing and presenting two new awards this year on behalf of the Ray Fernie Foundation, celebrating the success of the Employability Programme at the school and commending the efforts of the young people who have embraced the challenge of Foundation Apprenticeships.

Alan spoke movingly of his brother’s legacy, noting that Ray had “changed the shape of Employability training across Fife and beyond”. The recipients of these inaugural awards, Hannah Reid and Carly O’Hagan, were both thrilled, and very moved, to receive them.

Of course, no event at LHS would be complete without the accompaniment of a whole range of talented musicians, and the audience was treated to performances by the Wind Band and Steel Band throughout the evening. The final, and now traditional, highlight was Lochgelly High School Pipe and Wind Bands’ rousing performance of “Highland Cathedral” as the departing S6 “Class of 2019” left the stage.

Debbie Aitken, Rector, said: “The whole evening was a joyful celebration of learning and shows what a fabulous group of young people we have. All the staff were delighted to be able to celebrate with them at such a special event.”