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A day of trophies and triumphs

The ACG Sunderland College prizegiving was an opportunity not only to celebrate excellence, but for graduating students to farewell the school one final time before handing the reigns of senior leadership to a new cohort of successors.

The presentation of a multitude of Academic and Top-of-Class Awards was peppered with speeches by Mr Tim Jennison, ACG Schools CFO, who spoke on behalf of the board, and ACG Sunderland Principal, Mr Nathan Villars.

Mr Jennison discussed the highlights enjoyed and accomplishments realised throughout the year, while making mention of the upcoming changes and improvements Sunderland has planned for 2020 and beyond.

Mr Villars began his Principal’s address by acknowledging the effort and dedication of the students across the academic, sporting, cultural, community and performance fields. He congratulated the College on a wonderful year and spoke about his own favourite memories from 2019.

The prizegiving also included music by the Sunderland Jazz Band, with outstanding vocals from Year 8 student, Sophia Yeoman, and a final performance from popular student band, Moon Children, who played a poignant song titled ‘Goodbye’ written especially for the occasion.

Sports and Special Awards were then presented to deserving athletes and community-minded recipients. House Leaders were recognised, as were a number of students who were celebrated for their attitude and service to the school.

It was a bittersweet moment when Head Girl, Stephanie Weatherill, and Head Boy, Chase Leathard, addressed the school for the last time. In an emotional speech, both talked of their time at ACG Sunderland with humour and affection and provided valuable advice for returning students.

They concluded by presenting Physics Teacher, Mr Graham Gottard, with the Sunderland Student Council Voice - Teacher of the Year trophy, a laudable accolade voted on by pupils from the College.

The ceremony culminated with the presentation of the school’s biggest prize – the Dux Award. This singular honour went to Sunderland’s supreme scholar, Aqeel Munif.

Special mention must be made of Year 13 student, Aqeel Munif, who was recognised with seven separate awards celebrating both his excellence in academic achievement and his outstanding service to the College. After such success, his eighth appearance to accept the Dux Award was the perfect conclusion to his years at ACG Sunderland.