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BCHS students hailed for 'compassion and resilience' as prizegiving ceremony makes welcome return

By Alan Beresford

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AFTER two long years of Covid-enforced absence, Buckie High's annual prizegiving made a welcome return.

Duxes Caitlin Carnegie, Calum Risk (third left) and George Wallace are congratulated on their achievements by BCHS business support officer Yvonne Taylor (left) and depute rectors Moira Taylor (second right) and Liz Bain. Picture: Angus Mclennan
Duxes Caitlin Carnegie, Calum Risk (third left) and George Wallace are congratulated on their achievements by BCHS business support officer Yvonne Taylor (left) and depute rectors Moira Taylor (second right) and Liz Bain. Picture: Angus Mclennan

A year of achievement from across the school, both within and outwith the classroom, was recognised. It was a particularly proud evening for Caitlin Carnegie 5S and George Wallace 5C, who shared the 5th Year Dux Medal and Joe Mackay Award, and Calum Risk 6C, who claimed the 6th Year Dux Medal and Joe Mackay Award.

Addressing the prizegiving in place of rector Neil Johnson, who was unable to be present, was new depute rector Liz Bain, who joined the school around three weeks ago.

She noted that when Mr Johnson looked back over the last 12 months, he felt it was "important to take cognisance" of the impact of the pandemic on the experiences of the young people gathered at the prizegiving. Their response to this, she said, clearly demonstrated the school's core values represented by CARE – compassion, ambition, respect and effort.

Taking each of these qualities in turn, Ms Bain said that while young students could have been forgiven for thinking only of themselves during the depths of the lockdown and the impact his had on their education, they in fact went to "great lengths to support each other, and those less fortunate" in whatever way they could. Despite the restrictions, they still worked hard to find ways to help others in the community, including through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.

Moving on to the subject of ambition, Ms Bain noted that the school had entered more students for SQA awards at Levels 5 and 6 than has been the case for many years, with the young people embracing the diverse options offered by the curriculum.

In terms of the respect aspect of CARE, the depute rector stated that senior students were expected to show leadership both within and outwith the school, a challenge they had risen to over the course of the past year.

Ms Bain stressed that much effort had been put in as a result of Covid to using electronic means to share information an communicate with students, including getting to grips with the various platforms involved. She also highlighted that this year's S6 cohort had to deal with three different assessment systems over the course of their two senior years.

Concluding her address, Ms Bain said: "Covid has meant that this year’s prize-winners have developed a huge amount of wider learning and resilience.

"I talked earlier about the quantity and range of assessment these young people have been through, but they have also been challenged by the events they have lived through and learned from them to be flexible, resilient and creative – and in sitting here as prizewinners you should be very proud of how you have risen to the challenges.

"We are all very proud of all you have achieved in your time at Buckie High in your learning and your personal development.

Mr Johnson reminisced that he has quoted a wide range of the great and the good over the past few years of prize-giving addresses. This year he was drawn to Walt Disney, who said 'All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realise it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you'.

"Mr Johnson’s advice to you as you make your way through the rest of your lives, is to make sure that you learn from the kicks in the teeth life deals you. Maintain a willingness to CARE for each other, your learning and yourself.

"As a newcomer, I would like to add my thanks to all the staff of Buckie High, including Mr Johnson, for the creativity, tenacity, and adaptability that they have displayed over the past session. It has been abundantly obvious to me that the staff here do CARE and endeavour to get it right for all our young people. Staff members enjoyed much of the learning and positive change brought about by the pandemic but they have hugely appreciated recent opportunities to work together in person and to reintroduce and bring in new opportunities for young people.

"Being together this evening is a perfect example of this spirit of togetherness. Buckie High is a community which loves to work together, learn together and truly CAREs. On behalf of Mr Johnson, I wish all our prize-winners tonight every success for the future."

There was a warm welcome for the guest speaker for the evening, former 1980 Buckie High dux Colin Shearer who, the year after winning the award, went on to win the Amoco Educational award for his CSYS Chemistry project. He graduated from Aberdeen University with First Class Honours in Computing, specialising in Artificial Intelligence.

Since then has been a pioneer and thought leader in AI and advanced analytics for over 25 years. Currently, most of his time is devoted to his roles as Chief Strategy Officer with Finnish start-up Houston Analytics, a European leader in AI solutions for the retail and industrial sectors, and as AI Lead with Aberdeen-based OPEX Group, who are successfully applying AI to reduce emissions from oil and gas operations.

Mr Shearer is co-author of Make It All About Me: Leveraging omnichannel and AI for marketing success.

BCHS prizewinners proudly show off their hard-won shields and certificates. Picture: Angus Mclennan
BCHS prizewinners proudly show off their hard-won shields and certificates. Picture: Angus Mclennan


Kallum Aitchison 4C1 – 1st & the J L Liddle Memorial Quaich & the Historic Banffshire Kronach Twinning Association Award German Nat 5, 1st Maths Nat 5; Janey-Rose Bain 6S – 2nd Photography Higher; Callum Blake 5C1 – 1st Modern Studies Higher; Craig Boyd 6L – 1st Acting & Performance Higher; Brodie Buchan 4S2 – 2nd Administration Nat 5; Leoni Campbell 5R2 – 1st & the Sherman Trophy Practical Woodwork Nat 5; Amy Carmichael 4L2 – 1st History Nat 5; Caitlin Carnegie 5S2 – 1st Chemistry Higher, 4th English Higher, 2nd Maths Higher, 1st & the Ross Finnie Award Physical Education Higher; Emma Cheyne 6L – 3rd Philosophy Higher, 1st Practical Cookery Nat 5, 2nd RMPS Higher; Kimi Clark 5C2 – 1st equal & TSB Business Management Trophy Business Management Nat 5; Elijah Clarke 5S1 – the JP Pozzi Trophy for Most Improved in English Higher; Isaac Clarke 5S1 – 1st Biology Higher; Scott Davidson 4C1 – 2nd Maths Nat 5, 2nd Physics Nat 5; Casey Dawson 4R2 – 1st Animation & Visual Communication Nat 5; Eryn Dawson 5R1 – 1st Accounting Higher, 1st Administration Higher, 4th Maths Higher; Abi Dingwall 5R1 – 1st Environmental Science Nat 5, 1st Travel & Tourism Nat 5; Regan Beth Duncan 5S1 – 1st Applied Science Nat 5; Muir Duthie 6L – 3rd Environmental Science Higher; Caera Farren 5S1 – 2nd RMPS Nat 5; Mackenzie Findlay 5L1 – 3rd Physical Education Higher; Milly Findlay 4R1 – 1st & the Stewart Trophy Physical Education Nat 5; Neve Finlayson 4C2 – 2nd Geography Nat 5; Seth Fordyce 5S2 – 2nd Biology Higher, 3rd Maths Higher, 3rd Physics Higher; Neve Fraser 5R2 – 2nd Business Management Higher, 2nd Modern Studies Higher; Ebony Geddes 5S2 – 2nd Chemistry Higher, 2nd Geography Higher; Richie Glennon 6C 1st & the Hebbie Gray Memorial Cup Music Higher; Teghan Graham 6L – 2nd Practical Cakecraft Nat 5; Leah Hay 6R –1st French Higher, 3rd Geography Higher, 1st German Advanced Higher; Lana Herbert 5C2 – 2nd English Higher, 1st & the George Clark McKenzie Memorial Shield Maths Higher; Brodie Hutcheson 5C2 – 3rd Biology Higher; Jack Hutcheson 5R2 – 2nd Physical Education Higher, 1st Physics Higher; Kali Langnes 6C – 1st English Advanced Higher, 2nd Environmental Science Higher; Charlotte Lanham-Barnes 4L1 – 1st & the Grant Shield Art & Design Nat 5; Lori Lappin 6R – the Rennie Quaich for Endeavour in Music Higher; George Littlewood 5S1 – the Smith Trophy for Endeavour in Physical Education; Samuel Mair 5R1 – 3rd Modern Studies Higher; Becca Marshall 5S2 –1st Creative Industries Nat 5 Francesca Mather 5R2 – 3rd RMPS Higher; Sara McCormack 4S1 – 2nd Biology Nat 5; Elle McLaren 4C2 – 3rd Biology Nat 5, 2nd Chemistry Nat 5, 2nd equal English Nat 5, 3rd Maths Nat 5 2nd Physical Education Nat 5; Amy McLay 4S2 – 1st RMPS Nat 5; Samuel McLean 4L2 – 1st Administration Nat 5, 1st equal & TSB Business Management Trophy Business Management Nat 5, 2nd equal English Nat 5, 2nd Modern Studies Nat 5; Arwen Mitchell 4L1 – 1st Biology Nat 5; Freya Montgomery 6C – 1st & the Moravian Shield Business Management Higher, 1st Photography Higher, the Precious Gifts Shield for Photography Higher; Logan Montgomery 4C – The Seafield Medical Centre Quaich for Music Nat 5; Charlie Moonie 5C2 – 2nd History Higher, 2nd Philosophy Higher; Carla Morrison 5L1 – 1st equal Drawing Skills & Painting Nat 5; Molly Muir 4R2 – 2nd Travel & Tourism Nat 5; Tyreese Murray 4R2 – The Class of 1980 Shield for Most Improved Maths, 2nd Practical Woodwork Nat 5; Bruce Newlands 5L1 – 3rd English Higher, 2nd equal Geography Higher, 2nd Physics Higher; Keira Park 6L – 1st & the CW Thomson Prize & the Historic Banffshire Kronach Twinning Association Award German Higher; Shannon Paterson 5L1 – 1st equal Drawing Skills & Painting Nat 5; Aila Peterkin 6S – 1st Leadership Award Higher; Abby Phimister 4R2 – 4th Biology Nat 5, 2nd equal English Nat 5, 1st Geography Nat 5; Andrew Raffan 4S1 – 1st Music Technology Nat 5; Poppy Reid 5R2 – 1st & the Buckie Furniture Centre Shield Art & Design Higher, 1st RMPS Higher; Leonie Robertson 4R1 – 1st Music Nat 5; Emily Seymour 6L – 2nd Acting & Performance Higher, 1st Environmental Science Higher, 1st Technical Theatre in Practice Higher; Kimberley Shand 6L – 4th Biology Higher; Chloe Shewan 4S1 – 1st English Nat 5; John Stewart 6S – 2nd Practical Cookery Nat 5; Lucie Sutherland 5S1 – 2nd Art & Design Higher; Kaitlyn Taylor 5R1 – 1st Media Studies Nat 5; Nicole Taylor 4R1 – 1st Sport & Recreation Nat 5; Alex Thompson 4R1 – 1st (Plaque) Chemistry Nat 5, 1st & R S Cruickshank Trophy Graphic Communication Nat 5, 4th Maths Nat 5, 1st Physics Nat 5; George Wallace 5C1 – 1st & the Royal Bank of Scotland Cup English Higher, 1st & the Buckie Community Council Millennium Trophy History Higher, 1st & the William Mair Shield Philosophy Higher; Timmy Wilson 5L1 – 1st Practical Cakecraft Nat 5; Annya Wood 5S2 – 1st & the Class of 1991 Memorial Cup for Endeavour Geography Higher; Finlay Wood 4L1 – 2nd equal English Nat 5, 1st Graphic Communication Higher, 1st Modern Studies Nat 5; Michael Young 6S – 1st Music Technology Higher.

Outstanding awards: Cowie Rosebowl – Caitlin Carnegie 5S2, Catie Carter 5L1; Winnie Ewing Sports Trophy – Brandan Aitchison 6C; Community Service Award – Tyler Aitken 5C1, Janey-Rose Bain 6L, Catie Carter 5L1, Adele Grant 5R2, Kaylah Grant-Fielding 6S, Lori Lappin 6R, Paris McKerral 6S, Toni Smith 5R1; James Stuart Scott Trophy – Finlay Wood 4L1; Lewis Connor Forsyth Memorial Award – Shannon Paterson 5L1; G C Smith Trophy for Leadership –

Craig Herbert 6R. Outstanding Contribution to Work in the Library – John Stewart 6S; Ace Winches Perpetual Trophy for Technology & Science – Elijah Clarke 5S1; Zoe Geddes Memorial Shield – Charlotte Lanham-Barnes 4L1; Clark Memorial Award – Carla Morrison 5L1; Determination to Succeed Shield – Codey Donn 5L1.

5th Year Dux Medal and Joe Mackay Award: Caitlin Carnegie 5S, George Wallace 5C.

6th Year Dux Medal and Joe Mackay Award: Calum Risk 6C.

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