PRIESTLEY College has celebrated the record-breaking success of its Class of 2019 as well as 40 years of excellence in the town.
Students and their parents were joined by tutors, award sponsors and local dignitaries at St Elphin’s Church for the college’s annual awards.
Addressing the students, Principal Matthew Grant complimented them on achieving Priestley’s best ever A-Level results and an excellent set of vocational marks.
“I thank you for being a wonderful group of young adults who make my job, and that of my colleagues, such a rewarding one,” he said.
“I, and everyone here tonight, are proud of your achievements and I wish you every success as you continue your journey.”
Those who received awards represented all Priestley students who; achieved in exams and coursework, competed on sports fields, shone in performances, overcame personal challenges, completed the Duke of Edinburgh Award and tackled science and Maths Olympiads.
Congratulations also went to the football team who won the Cheshire Cup and got to the national final as well as artists who produced work that was displayed in the town’s indoor market and at Alexandra Palace, London.
Others secured places at university, apprenticeships or employment, and there was recognition for those who won the Barclays Tech Challenge, took part in Mooting competitions and represented Priestley in Parliament and at the Ministry of Defence.
Guest speaker Mark Henderson, a former Priestley student and son of the college’s second principal, acknowledged the institution’s role over four decades.
“40 years of developing, nurturing and enabling tens of thousands of students to become well rounded successful people is a legacy every member of staff should be proud of,” he said.
Warrington Wolves – who run a rugby academy at the college – brought the Challenge Cup to the event in recognition of the fact three former Priestley students played a part in their winning run.
Also in attendance was the Mayor of Warrington Wendy Johnson, former student Laura Harrison, Reverend Stewart McTaggart as well as other distinguished guests and governors.
“The college was named after that famed trailblazing scientist and free thinking philosopher Joseph Priestley,” said Matthew Grant.
“I’d like to think that the Priestley we know today is built on the solid foundations that were laid 40 years ago by David Henderson and his fellow trailblazers, work that continued under the stewardship of my predecessor Mike Southworth.
“In many respects we remain trailblazers and we dare to be different and take risks. We continue to innovate and to look forward, we continue to be inclusive offering students a comprehensive range of courses and, if need be, a second chance whilst ensuring every student is supported, challenged and inspired to reach their full potential.”