Special awards winners at a special evening for Excelsior Academy
Outstanding pupils from across Excelsior Academy took the limelight at an inspirational annual awards ceremony honouring academic and personal achievement.
Scores of parents, friends, governors and teachers packed the sports hall to see pupils from Rainbird Primary through to Excelsior College presented with awards recognising a year of excellence.
The awards mark the start of tenth year anniversary celebrations for Excelsior Academy.
The event was also the chance for Excelsior to showcase the performing arts talents of its pupils through sets from the Excelsior Choir, a performance of Blood Brothers, the Excelsior College Band, Monika Tulejova singing ‘All I Ask’ and recitals from Young Writers City at Excelsior.
Student Milan Kroka brought the house down with his reprisal of his role as Jean Valjean singing ‘Bring Him Home’ from the academy’s hugely successful staging of Les Miserables.
Special awards were presented by Executive Principal Craig Taylor to pupils who have shown exceptional attainment and dedication, both in school and in Excelsior’s wider community.
Excelsior welcomed back old boy Asad Nadeem as guest speaker, who captivated the audience with his story of how he arrived at Excelsior as a refugee from Pakistan with his family, but then seized every opportunity the academy gave him to win a host of prizes at six annual awards evenings.
After leaving Excelsior College, Asad graduated with a first class degree in aeronautical engineering and now works for a top international IT firm as a consultant in London, providing technical solutions for clients such as the BBC, British Transport Police and BT.
Asad said: “The support system for me at Excelsior was absolutely amazing. It has a great support network and the opportunities you get here are absolutely incredible.
“When I went away out into the world, I realised that this place is actually special. It is truly an honour for me to talk about my experiences as a guest at the ceremony where I won awards in the past.”
Craig said: “The awards are a celebration of the outstanding talents and achievements of so many of our brilliant students.
“We have come a long way since we first opened our doors in 2008 with results at every level improving year on year – make no mistake, Excelsior is now an outstanding academy.
“The success of our students is a positive testimony to the professionalism, dedication and outstanding quality of the staff at Excelsior Academy.
“They strive relentlessly to make the school experience exciting, relevant and engaging as we seek to constantly challenge our pupils to aim higher and achieve ever greater levels of success.”
Excelsior Academy Sponsor Lord Laidlaw said: “It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the many personal as well as academic achievements of our pupils.
“Every year the academic standards and levels of progress achieved by our pupils in all key areas have improved tremendously.”
The Special Awards winners were: Nikita Mills – Contribution to the Community, James Tams and Thomas Young – Construction, Steven Burr and Connor Baxter – Engineering, Diego Ochibiri and Blazej Kostecki – Michael Sehgal Award, Chloe Armstrong – Victor Rainbird Award, Katrina Mihalova – Governor’s Award, Anam Rauf – The Sponsor’s Award, Salma Ashgar – Chair of Governors Award, Executive Principal’s Award – New Writing North writers and Les Miserables cast.