58 exceptional students were honoured in Tralee last night (FRIDAY) at the Kerry Education and Training Board’s annual student awards. The event, held at the Institute of Technology Tralee, celebrates the achievements of students at Kerry ETB schools and at Youthreach Centres throughout the county. Connacht and Ireland rugby star and Tralee native, Ruth O’Reilly, was on hand last night to present the awards to 58 exceptional students. Over 3,000 students attend Kerry ETB post primary schools. A further 120 young people attend Youthreach Centres provided by Kerry ETB in partnership with the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service in Tralee, Killarney and Listowel. A Gold Medal Award for best overall academic achievement was presented to Alexander Mantel, who achieved 600 points in his Leaving Certificate at Killarney Community College. Two new awards have been introduced this year, the ‘Transition Year Award’ and the ‘Peer Mentor Award’ that recognises the contribution of senior students in the integration of First Year students into school life. A special award was also launched in memory of the late Kathleen Lucey, who taught Irish at Tralee Community College. The award was commissioned by Kathleen’s husband Paul and family, and will be presented each year to the student who achieves the highest results in the Irish oral exam in the Junior Certificate.