Telford College celebrated the achievements of more than 60 star students at its end-of-year awards night.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Shropshire, Anna Turner, was the VIP guest of honour at the ceremony, which was also live streamed from the college’s Wellington campus.
She told the audience she would be ‘feeding back’ information about the event to the Queen’s team, and congratulated all the students on their achievements.
“I want to encourage you all to be passionate, follow your heart and be totally committed, show enthusiasm, show you love something and reap the rewards of a top class education at this innovative excellent college,” she said.
“Remember all that you have learnt here and it will be helpful to you for the rest of your life.”
There were awards for outstanding achievers, and students who have shown significant improvement over the course of the past year.
The college’s highest accolade, the Victor Ludorum trophy, went to level two engineering student Nick Turner, from Ketley, a former pupil of the Grove School in Market Drayton.
In the official citation, the college said 17-year-old Nick had shown a ‘real determination and commitment to his studies – noticeably growing in confidence over the course of the year.
It added: “He has overcome not only the challenges of adapting to blended learning that we’ve all faced over the past year, but also been recuperating from an operation and physiotherapy at the same time.
“Throughout this entire period, he was determined to attend his lessons on Teams and complete his coursework.
“And as soon as he was able, he was back here on campus, to complete his practical units, even when he was sometimes in so much pain that he had to take regular seating breaks.”
Nick’s father was among the limited number of guests able to attend the event, in line with Covid-19 regulations, while his mother – who is currently in hospital herself – was able to watch her son receive his prize on the live stream.
Two other special awards were handed out on the night, with 18-year-old Kyra Fone, a former Madeley Academy student from Aqueduct, being named Apprentice of the Year.
She is completing her apprenticeship with estate services company Spacecare Limited in Halesfield, Telford.
The awards ceremony was told that she was an ‘outstanding’ student who had quickly learned about the nuances of the industry and business world, and had a work ethic which is almost unrivalled.
“With perfect attendance and punctuality, this level three apprentice has become very self-sufficient and taken on sole control of several tasks at her place of work.
“In fact, those in the business who deal with her, say that if they need a job completing swiftly and efficiently, she is now their first port of call.”
The Principal’s Special Award went this year to 19-year-old Jared Cowan, a level three digital coding student in his second year at the college.
Jared came to the college from South Africa two years ago when his parents emigrated – but despite the upheaval, soon started to shine.
The awards audience was told: “Jared puts his heart and soul into his studies, and has been praised by tutors for showing such fantastic work ethic and dedication.
“Jared has shown real leadership skills within his group – he is focused, determined, aspirational and is a true college ambassador.”
Amongst the other winners was 7th Form Significant Improvement award winner Kaycee Owen, a former Madeley Academy student who studied A levels in biology, chemistry and maths.
Kaycee has had outstanding attendance, work ethic and commitment and become an integral part of the college community. She has been accepted to study a maths degree at Keele University.
Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of everyone’s achievements, and the way in which staff and students had shown such teamwork, commitment, pure hard work and tenacity.
Chair of governors Paul Hinkins closed the ceremony with recognition for all of the award winners, and congratulations to the whole of the college for their efforts throughout the pandemic.