Since Jamie Owens entered St Patrick’s De La Salle as the class of junior infants in 2006, many changes have taken place.
Last Monday at the school, young Jamie recalled his first years of blackboard, chalk and the re-winding of cassette recorders.
As he graduates from St Patrick’s De La Salle, he and his sixth yer class mates can look back on significant change - highlighted this week with the De La Salle receiving a School of Digital Distinction award.
Now whiteboards, ipads, screens, video conferencing - all part of daily life in the school.
And this award certainly cements the fact that St Patrick’s De La Salle are the first Kilkenny school to firmly plant their feet in the digital age.
First in Kilkenny, and in the top 100 in the country, Principal Brian Cody spoke with great pride on the achievement of the school, its pupils and its staff in being recognised for their work.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan congratulated the entire school on their outstanding achievement, complimenting the presentation from the boys and stating that St Patrick’s, as he would expect with Mr Cody in charge, are very much ahead of the game.
Minister Hogan had the distinction of sending the first tweet from the new twitter account of the school - @stpatricksDLS.
Gerard McHugh, Chair of the Digital Schools of Distinction Committee and Director of the Dublin West Education Centre spoke on behalf of the organisers. Mr McHugh congratulated the school on their extraordinary success. He said it was a tremendous day in the schools distinquished 126 year history, adding that the school is in the top 100 in the country.
He also noted that 25 Kilkenny schools were also applying to be recognised as a Digitial School of Distinction and complimented St Patrick’s on being the first and setting a very high standard.
The drive to digital is also supported by HP Ireland and Microsoft Ireland and the schools selected, including St Patrick’s will receive further support in practical, IT and financial terms.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, it was ice creams all round for the boys, celebrating a great achievement for the school.