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Brightest Stars Shine at Student Awards

Some of the brightest and most promising students in Wales have been recognised at NPTC Group of Colleges’ annual Student Awards ceremony held at Neath College.

The evening was a celebration of academic and personal success, with one student from each academic area crowned School Award Winner. The ceremony also recognised the contribution made by staff through the presentation of a Governor’s Award and the Tutor of the Year.

The proceedings were rounded off with an award for the overall student of the year, chosen by Mark Dacey, Principal and Chief Executive of NPTC Group of Colleges.

The ceremony was compèred by actor and presenter, Kev Johns, who introduced the nominees and awarded the winners’ trophies. NPTC Group of Colleges’ Honorary Fellows Ryan Jones and Suzy Drane also attended the celebrations.

There was a video message from Alumni and Honorary Fellow, Geraint F. Lewis, who had been at Neath College the previous week to deliver a guest lecture on galactic cannibalism and the search for dark energy. In his recorded address, he sent his congratulations to all the award winners. He added: “Education is truly a lifelong endeavour and should never end. Looking back, I realise how my time at NPTC Group of Colleges set me on the road to becoming the person I am today. I wish you all the best for the future.”

Students at NPTC Group of Colleges achieve consistently outstanding results in both A Levels and vocational qualifications. For the 13th year in succession, the overall A Level pass rate has remained at an incredible 99 per cent, and the Student Awards recognised that success. Recipient of the Chief Executive’s Award, Rebecca Penney, achieved an incredible 4 A*s in her final examinations and has since gone on to study Pharmacy at Cardiff University.

Speaking after the ceremony, Rebecca said: “I am incredibly humbled to have received this recognition this evening. I want to take this opportunity to thank the College and my lecturers for nurturing my academic talent and encouraging me to constantly push myself. It’s great to be back here this evening, and to be able to thank my lecturers for their support.”

Mark Dacey, Principal and Chief Executive of NPTC Group of Colleges, said the award ceremony was a great success: “It’s a privilege to be able to congratulate all the students on the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated. The Student Awards is a celebration of the effort these remarkable students have put into their studies. I want to thank everyone involved for making this event such a success, with a special mention to the evening’s sponsors.”

Sponsored by Harcourt Colour Print, the College’s longstanding print collaborator, travel partner First Cymru, and Knox and Wells, the main contractor responsible for the development of the new A/B Block refurbishment which housed the pre-show drinks and canapés, this was the first time the awards had been held in Neath College.

Mark Dacey added: “We have held this award ceremony at some fantastic venues in the past, but we’ve never previously had the facilities to host it in-house. With the completion of the new reception area in Neath College, we have an area that is perfectly suited to an event of this nature.

“On behalf of all staff at NPTC Group of Colleges and the Board of Governors, I send my heartfelt congratulations to the all the award winners.”

Award Winners:

Rebecca Penney: School Winner – Sixth Form Academy

Matthew Ellis: School Winner – Business, Tourism, Management

Liam McGinley: School Winner – Construction & The Built Environment

David Barzewicz-Dower: School Winner – Building Engineering Services

Natalie Sabido: School Winner – Hairdressing & Applied Therapies

Gabrielle Griffiths: School Winner – Health, Social & Childcare

Shania Burton: School Winner – Foundation Studies

Fion Capener: School Winner – Creative, Visual & Performing Arts

Sarah Atkinson: School Winner – Computing & IT

Iuan Langford: School Winner – Engineering (Sponsored by First Cymru)

Sion (Eifion) Jones: School Winner – Catering. Horticulture, & Agriculture

Matthew Livermore: School Winner – Pathways Training

Rebekah Powney: School Winner – Sport & Public Services

Declan Kenny: Apprentice of the Year

Sam Rees: Williams Lewis Jones Maths Prize Winner

Ashely Bendle: HE Student of the Year

Shuyi Lin: Adult Learner of the Year

Simon Dickerson: Governor’s Award

Andrea Houlihan: Tutor of the Year

Rebecca Penney: Chief Executive’s Award

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