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27th June 2018

In a night filled with celebration, reflection, pride and emotion, Newcastle College’s second annual Celebration Awards showcased the College, its students, apprentices and employer partners at their very best.

The star-studded ceremony, held on Monday 25 June 2018 at the College’s £5.5 million Performing Arts Centre was attended and co-hosted by Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University.

The event saw 39 different awards presented for outstanding contributions and successes; including dedicated sixth form awards, awards for each of the vocational subject areas offered at the College, awards to celebrate success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related subjects, apprenticeship achievement and employer recognition awards.

In addition to this, a number of special awards were presented, including an award dedicated to former Chair of Governors at Newcastle College, George Stonier, who sadly passed away late last year. The winner of the George Stonier Award, sponsored by Staffordshire University, was former Stoke on Trent College student, Paola Simoes Gomez, who since moving to the UK from Venezuela just over 3 years ago, has worked tirelessly to achieve the qualifications needed to pursue her dream career in Engineering. Paola is an exceptionally bright student who will progress from the College to Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to study Mechanical Engineering this September.

Commenting on her experience at Newcastle College and her award win, Paola said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Newcastle College, the teachers have been really supportive and mindful throughout the entirety of my studies. I’m really happy to win this award, I’ve put a lot of effort into my work, both in and outside of the classroom and feel motivated to keep working hard when I move to MMU.”

The Gordon Banks Awards for Sporting Excellence Awards, were won by Abbygael Harris and Ethan Cartwright. The female category, sponsored by the University of Derby, was won by former Alleyene’s Academy student, Abby, who has played badminton at both national and international levels and is currently ranked number 10 in England in the open age category and number 1 at Under 19 level despite only being 17. Abby is now hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Former Wolstanton High School student, Ethan won the male category, sponsored by Stoke City FC. Ethan is an avid sportsman and member of the Andy Griffin Football Academy (AGFA), where he has been an integral part of the team this year. His dedication was recognised at a national level when he was selected to represent England in the England Colleges Football Association (ECFA) squad, where he had the opportunity to travel to Italy.

Two students were selected for the prestigious Principal’s Award, sponsored by Keele University. They were Amber Johnson, formerly of Thomas Boughey High School and Thomas Boulton, formerly of Wolstanton High School.

Throughout her time at the College, Amber has been an outstanding Honours Programme student. She relishes academic challenge and her relentless positive, but modest and self-effacing attitude sets an outstanding example to others. Amber hopes to progress from Newcastle College to the University of Cambridge to study Archaeology.

Amber said: “I feel extremely shocked yet proud to have won this award and am really excited about what the future holds for me. The staff at Newcastle College have been excellent in supporting me and I’m truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had during my time here.”

Thomas, has shown great determination in achieving excellent results, both personally and academically and his hard work and unfaltering focus on his studies is highly commendable. Thomas will progress from Newcastle College to study Pharmacy at Keele University next year.

On winning his ward, Thomas said: “I feel extremely proud and privileged to have been nominated, let alone win this award”.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive at Stafford College, said: “We are delighted to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of students, apprentices and employers. Although only a small selection of students are invited to the awards, we are of course proud of the success and achievements of all of our talented, enterprising, determined and caring students who make up our entire college community. Our staff do everything they can to ensure our students thrive and achieve in their studies and ultimately go on to make a positive contribution to the lives of others in the businesses and communities in which they live and work.”

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