Karol Torpey, chaplain of St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe Co. Clare, won the ETB Excellence Award for Care at the inaugural ETB Excellence Awards on Thursday, 2nd March. The awards were run by Education and Training Boards Ireland as it celebrated 10 years of Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in Ireland.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Karol kept the spirit of St. Anne’s alive on Microsoft Teams and through her ‘Humans of St. Anne’s’ social media pages. She posted messages of hope and positivity for students, staff and parents. She also supports the school community through bereavements and tough times.
Limerick and Clare ETB also won another prize at the awards. The Recognition of Prior Learning initiative for the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Hairdressing, run by the Innovation, Development and Quality Support Services at Limerick and Clare ETB, received the runner-up prize in the Excellence in Further Education and Training category.
The awards were presented at a special ceremony in Croke Park which also marked ‘ETB Day’. Hosted by RTÉ newsreader and former ETB student, Ray Kennedy, the event was attended by representatives from all 16 ETBs across the country.
Some of the awards presented at the ceremony included the ETB Excellence in Education Award, the ETB Excellence Award for Equality, the ETB Excellence in Further Education and Training Award, and the ETB Excellence in Youth Services Award, amongst others.
Congratulating the awardees, Paddy Lavelle, Chief Executive of ETBI said: “It gives me great pride to congratulate all the winners, and indeed runners-up on their success in the inaugural ETB Excellence Awards. We received over 500 entries from ETBs across the country to the Awards detailing the great people and initiatives that are ongoing in all corners of Ireland.
“The standard across all categories was extremely competitive, meaning we had a very difficult job in narrowing the entries down and selecting our winners. The work of all ETBs – not those just officially recognised at the awards – deserves to be commended. Their commitment and passion for education, for learning and for their communities play a vital role in ensuring that there are broad and varied options for people to engage with education and training across the country, no matter what stage of their learning journey they are at.
“This year is a milestone year for ETBs as we celebrate 10 years since their formation in Ireland. Over the past decade, ETBs have delivered learning and education opportunities for everyone – including primary and post primary schools, further education and training and youth services. ETBs have revolutionised Ireland’s education system, and I hope that we can continue to deliver innovative, diverse and flexible learning pathways over the next ten years, and beyond.”