Holy Trinity School has celebrated the achievements of its sixth-formers as they prepare to head out into the world of university and work.
The teenagers and their parents attended an awards ceremony at the school, in Buckswood Drive, on Thursday evening (May 26), which included a very special prize.
While the youngsters looked to the future, one of their number was named the first recipient of the Tina Wheelhouse Memorial Prize.
Tina died in February, aged 33, months after undergoing a heart transplant. She had been a pupil at Holy Trinity and went on to work as PA to the headteacher.
The prize was set up to recognise the Year 13 student who had exhibited an ongoing commitment and loyalty to the school, who was characterised by their enthusiasm and their spirit of service and love for others.
Tina’s husband Justin and father Kevin Gordon presented the prize to Christopher Walker.
Christopher was described as having “demonstrated a special level of commitment and enthusiasm to the school and community. No matter how humble the task.
“Always going above and beyond since Year 7. He shows a level of selflessness that is rarely seen and a true spirit of service.”
Mr Wheelhouse thanked the school for celebrating the life of his wife through the new award and described how she had always seen “the best in people”.
He said: “Despite having a limiting heart condition, she lived life and she loved life. She lived by example.
“She taught many of us that you should not squander but embrace the opportunities that you were given. And she said you should do all you can to reach your full potential.
“Many of us have the opportunity to shine and we really must take it. At the same time, we must be humble when we get the things that we have achieved.
“I’m not asking you to do more than you can. I’m just asking you to be the best person that you can. I’m not talking academically. I just mean be a nice person . Be good to others.
“Sometimes this will take a leap of faith and on occasion the outcome won’t be what you expect. You will become unstuck but don’t lose faith.”
He added: “I encourage you all to blossom into examples to others. Look around you and embrace the world that we live in. It might seem bad at times but if you ever feel like you can’t make a difference, find a stone and throw it in a pond and watch the ripples.
“At the same time just remember, when you get what you deserve, be humble.”
With those words, and a blessing from headteacher Rev Chrissie Millwood, the sixth-formers headed for home. Their final big day at Holy Trinity will come in August when they receive their A-level results.
Dawn Clubb, sixth-form director of learning, said: “The event was a wonderful success and was praised by many who attended.
“It was an opportunity for the school to say ‘thank you’ to parents for entrusting Holy Trinity School with their sons and daughters, many for the last seven years.
“Celebrating student success is integral to our ethos and community.
“The Tina Wheelhouse Memorial Prize is a wonderful and living way to both remember a beloved former student and colleague and also to recognise those students who have contributed to the life of the school over a period of time.
“These students may not necessarily be the most academic, but they are those individuals who live a life of service to others and their community.”
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