Notre Dame’s third annual Stella Maris Awards event took place on the evening of April 27, presided over by Bishop Marcus Stock, who presented each of our 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 our beautiful chapel, which was full of proud students and their family members and friends, all waiting to see Bishop Marcus make the presentations. Other guests included: Very Rev 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. We also invited guests from our Catholic Partnership schools as well as All Saints York, and St John Fisher Catholic Schools in Dewsbury and Harrogate.
The event began with a welcome speech from our 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 Rev Monsignor 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 our students receiving this prestigious award, such as caring for a sick grandparent.
The moment came for our 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 our inspirational award winners, then the evening ended with a reception and light buffet in our 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.”