AT FRIDAY’S Borders College graduation ceremony, prizes and special awards along with citations, recognising outstanding achievements of students, were presented as follows:
Best Higher Education Student Award – Stuart White, Kelso
After a career as a soldier, forester and tree harvester, Stuart came back into education to fulfil his lifelong ambition to be a gamekeeper.
His goodwill and adaptability impressed all the staff that worked with him and his academic work was always to the highest standards.
He received the award of Best NC Gamekeeping Student last year and throughout his second year on the HNC course, Stuart went from strength to strength and was awarded Best HNC Student.
The feat of winning both prizes in consecutive years has never been achieved before and Stuart is now in full-time employment on a local estate as an under-keeper.
Best Further Education Student Award – Bartosz Walkoiak, Hawick
Bartosz commenced his time at college in 2009 but due to illness he could not continue.
Last year he came back to study the Introduction to Business, Administration and Information Technology courses as well as attending an ESOL class in the evenings.
Bartosz always put maximum effort into his work and successfully passed all his units throughout the course achieving a Grade A in his final exams. With the help of medication, exercise and determination, Bartosz, having been wheelchair-bound, is now walking and has progressed to the NC Digital Media course.
Exceptional Achievement Award – Laura Geddes, Eyemouth
The HNC in Early Education and Childcare is a difficult and demanding course but Laura consistently performed to the very best of her ability.
She excelled in the workplace where she was considered a valuable member of the team, her supervisor stating she was extremely impressed with her dedication and determination.
Laura is the kind of student the college would expect to have on an HNC Childcare course, but she also faced the challenges of a parent who was hospitalised, juggling hospital visits with looking after her younger brother and herself, and even after tragically having to deal with the loss of her parent.
Award for Superior Performance in a Work Placement – Christopher Punter, Hawick
Chris has successfully gained his SVQ 3 Food Preparation and Cooking this year having never missed a placement day and relishing the challenges he was set.
Working on placement at The Townhouse in Melrose, Chris continued to develop his skills and abilities in the kitchen and in May this year he was given the opportunity to work, for a week, alongside Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart in his award-winning restaurant in Leith.
Martin praised the standard of Chris’s work and he has now secured an apprenticeship at the restaurant.
Best Access to Learning Student – Kirsty Thomson, Selkirk
Kirsty started the Workwise 1 course as a quiet and at times shy member of the student group.
Throughout her second year she gained confidence and worked well both in class and on placement.
She became a member of the student faculty council, representing her fellow students in the access department and involved herself enthusiastically with many fundraising events held by the department.
A highlight of her year was her successful application to join a party travelling to Sweden to experience work and life abroad and she spent two weeks working in Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna.
Stuart Wilkie Memorial Trophy – Tim Smith, Hawick
Tim first started college whilst still attending school on the School Plus programme.
His enthusiasm and interest in the subject made him an ideal candidate for a place on the full-time motor vehicle course.
As part of the course he successfully completed work experience which allowed him to demonstrate his potential to an employer who rewarded him with an apprenticeship and Tim has been supported by this employer, Weensland Motor Centre in Hawick, during his apprenticeship.
Over the three-year course, Tim continued to flourish completing his SVQ 3 qualification and gaining his Modern Apprenticeship.
Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year – Ben Wilson, Peebles
During his years at college, Ben has shown enthusiasm and a thirst for subject knowledge.
The quality of evidence produced for his portfolio was of the highest order and he has consistently performed well and above average during assessments, gaining seven distinction passes.
His appetite for vehicle technology, not only modern but sometimes retro is impressive and would always promote discussion.
He is an example to his peers and a credit to himself and his employer Millburn Garage in Stow.
Citizenship Award – The Level 1 Beauty Therapy Class
As part of the citizenship skills area of their study, the class visited The Waverley residential home in Galashiels where, on occasions throughout the year, they offered a manicure service to the residents, both male and female, who enjoyed their manicures as well as some cheery chat from the students.
It also gave the students excellent experience of working with clients of all ages and also clients with varying disabilities and needs.
The residents thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would welcome the students back at anytime. As well as their visits to The Waverley, the class also organised various events to raise funds for Children in Need.