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Williams urges Clare Valley graduates to set high goals

Williams urges Clare Valley graduates to set high goals


“Have dreams that can allow you to soar high, think beyond what has already been achieved.”{{more}}

This was the advice given to the 2012 class of the Clare Valley Government School at its graduation ceremony, which took place on Tuesday, July 3 under the theme ‘Excellence through perseverance’.

Grenville Williams, executive director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and past student of the primary school, delivered the feature address to the students, who sat their Common Entrance Examination in June.

He urged them to set goals for themselves that would surpass those of people who have gone before them, and reminded them that they should not limit themselves in their career choices.

“At this critical point in your life, you must be decisive and visionary…picture yourself five, ten or fifteen years down the road in the career of your choice,” said Williams.

“Today is an opportunity to celebrate your achievements and also an occasion to reflect on your journey over the last six or seven years…Do you realize that when you started Kindergarten, you probably couldn’t read, write, spell, add, multiply, subtract, divide, or even tie your shoes?” he said.

“Now six – seven years later you have withstood the test of time and you have triumphed!”

The school’s valedictorian was Jozanne Layne, who was also the school’s top CEE performer in Mathematics.

Dwanika Culzac and Jomali Slater were the top performers in Language Arts and Social Science, respectively.

Williams, also an attorney-at-law by profession and heavily involved in community organizations, reminded the students that they need to continue with their love of learning and to keep aiming for academic excellence.

He congratulated their parents and teachers on aiding students along the way in their development, and urged them to continue doing so.

“Parents, while your children are becoming more independent and maturing, you are required to play a critical role in their continued success. There will be many challenges and distractions which, if left unattended, could derail what could be a glorious future,” said Williams.

“You are given the responsibility of being a guide to your children, – not their friends, peers or equals. I remind you to be a disciplinarian. Discipline encourages hard work and dedication. These are the pillars of continual success.”

He especially pointed out that parents should not hesitate to allow their children to take part in extracurricular activities, and even suggested that it may enhance their academic performance.

“It is an erroneous view to believe that these extracurricular activities are detrimental to academic attainment,” he insisted.

Williams explained that over the decades, many top-performing students (at all levels of education) have maintained outside hobbies and interests alongside their studies.

He concluded with a quote from famous children’s author Dr Seuss.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”(JV)