AN air of pride fit to reach the vaulted ceiling filled Ely Cathedral as students, staff, parents and friends of King’s Ely Senior came together for one of the highlights of the school calendar.
Hundreds of people packed inside the cathedral on the afternoon of Friday, May 5th for King’s Ely Senior’s Prizegiving ceremony – an annual celebration of students’ academic achievements and outstanding successes in everyday school life, such as music, art, drama, sport and charitable fundraising.
Academic Prizes are awarded to several students in each year group, plus there are awards for Most Improved Students and those who have provided an Outstanding Contribution to School Life. There are also King’s Scholar and Queen’s Scholar Prizes, Prefect Awards, King’s Ely International Scholar Prizes and Potticary Medals for the Heads of School; which went to George Clift and Alice Keeling this year.
Awards and medals which celebrate historical achievements at King’s Ely, such as the Bennett Prize, Dimmock Reading Prize, Shepherd Cup and Winkfield Cup, to name just a few, are also presented at Prizegiving, which is followed by a service of thanksgiving.
Guest of Honour at this year’s ceremony was Maxwell Gomera, who is Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the UN Environment. A resource economist by training, Maxwell has extensive national and international experience in biodiversity/wildlife management and socio-economic development. He has worked extensively on the development of natural resource based business opportunities; on models for the management of the African Elephant; and on the incentives for agricultural production while maintaining the integrity of the natural systems that support production.
Maxwell was also a business development manager for SAFIRE, working with business and rural communities in development of natural resources based enterprises, in the early years of an economic transformative approach now referred to as ‘Green Economy.’ He has also worked on an effective reporting mechanism for mining and metal extraction.
Principal of King’s Ely, Sue Freestone, said: “It was a privilege to hear Maxwell Gomera speak; he was inspirational and a wonderful role model for our students. Prizegiving offers us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those who have given above and beyond the required this year. A prize of some kind is within reach of every student in the school.”