Larne teenager is Ulster’s top student

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Larne teenager David Byrne is Northern Ireland’s top student, according to examining body CEA.

CEA says that the St. Louis Grammar School pupil, is the organisation’s highest ever GCSE achiever in the province.

David achieved an outstanding ten A* in his GCSEs and attained the highest scores in Northern Ireland in four subjects - English language (22102 entrants), further mathematics (3469 entrants), history (6751 entrants) and ICT (7862 entrants).

David also came joint second in GCSE English literature (10301 entrants).

He became a record-breaking top performer from over 22,000 candidates NI GCSE candidates to win the accolade.

CEA revealed the full extent of David’s achievements at its prestigious awards ceremony held in the Titanic Building last month.

David is currently studying A-Levels in biology, chemistry, English literature and maths and hopes to pursue a career in chemical engineering.

Not one to be regarded as a “total academic”, David has many other personal attributes including athletics, particularly cross country and long distance running. David has represented the school at the NEBSSA Schools Regional Finals in the past and been successful.

David enjoys creative writing and writing poetry and has had works published in the local press. He is an active member of his local church and gives his time at the weekend as a liturgical reader and helps where he can in his parish. David is a key participant in the GIFT programme exploring faith based issues within his church and reaching out to others. He is also a volunteer recruiter with the Alzheimer’s Society in his community and in his spare time his love of music and cars help him unwind.

David attributes his success to “a combination of faith, hard work, focus, determination to achieve and the encouragement from his parents Kieran and Geraldine and his teachers in St Louis”.

St Louis Grammar principal Sean Rafferty acknowledged David’s “outstanding performances which are simply superb and are unlikely to be equalled by many students in NI, never mind the school community”.

He paid tribute to “David’s mild nature, keen sense of focus and natural talents, which he said have been put to good use.

Mr. Rafferty added: “David never rests on his laurels and is keen to learn and questions aspects of his syllabus that may have caused him trouble. We are so proud of this young man and all he has achieved to date. Our school mantra is Excellence Endeavour and Empowerment and David is an example of a student who has embraced every one of these facets to the full.

“The future is certainly bright for this young rising star in St Louis, Ballymena, as he proudly reflects upon his top A* grades and unprecedented CEA success which certainly sets him apart from his peers in academic terms and gives him a strong platform for his A Level studies and career achievement over the coming years.”