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SVGS graduates urged to ‘stand out’ from crowd for success

SVGS graduates urged to ‘stand out’ from crowd for success

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“The future of this nation rests squarely on your shoulders!”

These sobering, yet encouraging words were delivered by Jamal Browne to the 2015 graduating class of the St Vincent Grammar School — encouraging them to use this success to propel them into the next {{more}}stage of their educational lives.

Speaking at the Kingstown Methodist Church last Wednesday, Browne also reminded the graduands that qualifications and accolades alone are not the true markers of success in life.

“There must be something more that makes you stand out from the crowd,” he insisted, suggesting that strong faith in God would help them achieve that.

Browne also reminded the 134 graduands to always keep the school’s motto ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’ (through rough ways to the stars) in mind, as they face challenges in their academic and personal lives.

He also told them that perseverance is necessary, as it is easy to be “discouraged by the failures of those who came before us.”

The school’s headmaster Curtis King also delivered words of wisdom and congratulation to his students during his Headmaster’s Report.

“We have prepared you to realize your potential and face the future with confidence,” he beamed.

“On your way forward, commit yourselves to life-long learning and make the best use of the opportunities that you will encounter. Continue to embrace the core values of your alma mater!”

Subject awards were handed out to Christian Friday, who was also selected class valedictorian, (for Biology, Chemistry, English A , English B, Geography, Mathematics and Physics); Chrislon Fraser (for Economics and Integrated Science); Akeem Muhammad (Caribbean History); Osei Phillips (Electronic Document Preparation Management); Maxron Holder (French); Shakeem Pilgrim (Food and Nutrition); Milieko Edwards (Information Technology); Kaulan Bailey (Office Administration); McGarvin Sampson (Physical Education); Michael LaFlouf (Principles of Accounts); Youri Phillips (Principles of Business); Dorien Antrobus (Social Studies); Sebastien Cyrus-Chevres (Spanish) and Zhané Foster (Visual Arts).

There was also a plethora of special awards, including: CWSA Award for Most Outsanding Humanities Student, which was won by Chrislon Fraser. He also won the Dr Errol King Award for Most Rounded Student, and the Headmaster’s Award.

The Luke Browne Award for Most Outstanding Modern Language Student went to Akeem Muhammad; the ED Layne & Sons Ltd Award for Outstanding Business Students went to Michael LaFlouf (1st), Taj Ballantyne (2nd) and Chrislon Fraser (3rd); the Most Outstanding Science Students Awards went to Christian Friday (1st) and Akeel Alexander (2nd); and the Andrew Cummings Award for Student Who Best Balances Sport with Academics went to Romancio Frederick.

During his address, King spoke of the successes of the 2015 graduating class over the 2014/15 academic year. These included achievements at the annual NTRC I-squared competition, the Ministry of Tourism Public Speaking competition, the RBTT Young Leaders competition, the Secondary School Bible Quiz, and their participation in an ICT Project, among others.

King also spoke of the students’ successes in sports (both internal, inter-school and regional), and various other groups and clubs at the school.

In terms of academics he lauded last year’s 93.03 per cent pass rate in the CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations, which saw a 100 per cent pass rate in 13 subject areas, and resulted in the school winning four of the seven National Awards earlier this year.

The top performers at the school last year were Richard John, who passed 14 subjects with 13 grade ones; Sherwin Peters, who also passed 14 subjects with 12 grade ones; and Kerro Glasgow, who passed 13 subjects with 10 grade ones.

Bursting with pride, King asserted: “We are convinced… we will have yet another year of impressive performance!”

King also spoke of some of the challenges the school has faced, which included the death of Glenroy Michael, who would have graduated with the 2015 class; misbehaviour of students during class time; and teacher absenteeism, caused by illness and having to attend workshops.

King deemed the workshops “ill-timed” and called for the Ministry of Education to review the timing and execution of such.

In closing, King reminded the class of 2015 that “life is short — enjoy it to the fullest!” (JSV)

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