The principal of Markethill High School said the whole school is “deeply saddened” by the death of former students Andrew Gass and Mark Hutcheson.
Headmaster James Maxwell described Andrew and Mark, who were tragically killed in a road crash yesterday, as “popular and well-mannered”.
The two left Markethill High School only last June to continue their education at Southern Regional College.
Mr Maxwell predicted that both boys “had great futures ahead of them” before Thursday’s tragic events.
Mr Maxwell said: “The entire school community is deeply saddened by the news, and our thoughts and prayers are with both families at this sad time. Both boys were popular, well-mannered and respected members of the school community who demonstrated passion and commitment towards all aspects of school life.
“They left in June 2015 looking forward to the next step on their educational pathway. Andrew loved Agriculture, vocational courses and he was heavily involved in school sports’ teams, including rugby and hockey.
“Similarly, Mark excelled in Science, Agriculture and applied subjects such as Carpentry and Joinery. I have no doubt in my mind that both boys had great futures ahead of them and they will be remembered with fondness for their great generosity of spirit.”
Mr Maxwell said Markethill High had implemented its “Critical Incident policy” after news of the crash reached pupils.
“Alongside staff, trained counsellors are on-site to support pupils and staff at this time. A special assembly to remember Andrew and Mark will take place in the near future,” he added.