By: Curtis Morton
Charlestown-Nevis—five students of the Nevis Academy Primary School took the spotlight on Tuesday 7th July at the school’s annual graduation ceremony.
The impressive ceremony took place at the Shiloh Baptist church at Ramsbury under the distinguished patronage of the husband and wife team of Dr. Essien and Dr. Bardales.
The theme for the event was: ‘The power of perseverance—the key to success.’
The ceremony was ably chaired by Coordinator at the Youth Department on Nevis, Miss Zahnela Claxton who warmly congratulated the graduating class and the school and welcomed all present. She also gave some timely advice to the graduants as they prepare for their Secondary school years.
The invocation was delivered by Father Ernie Berthlete and the national anthem was rendered on pan by Miss Janice Nisbett.
Principal at the school, Mrs. Lucia Wilkinson gave a comprehensive overview of the school’s year which highlighted successes in areas of quizzes and debates; a successful sports meet and highlighted some of the successes of individual students and served to show that the school is definitely one of the top primary schools on the island.
She also thanked her entire staff for their dedication and support and extended gratitude to the parents who were also very supportive to the school.
Brief remarks were delivered by Education Officer responsible for the school, Mrs. Cynthia Grenyion who referred to the graduants as ‘the fantastic five’ and asked them to ‘keep the keys to success close to their hearts’ and warned them that they will have to make certain adjustments at the Secondary School and wished them every success.
The featured address was eloquently delivered by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, who filled in for the Hon. Hazel Brandy –Williams who was off island on official duty.
Mr. Glasgow in his remarks admonished the graduants to continue to persevere and ‘ride the waves.’
He told them that they need to set goals and commit themselves to achieving those goals.
‘if you do not know where you are going and where you want to go, then you may end up anywhere,’ he warned. He noted that moral education or character building should be an integral part of the lives of the students. ‘Intelligence plus character are critical,’ he emphasized.
‘Too many of our children are technical wizards but moral illiterates,’ he said.
Mrs. Shirletta Byron in representing the parents, noted that it was a bitter sweet moment for her as she was happy to have seen her son Roberto Byron grow and develop to reach to this stage of achieving his graduation but noted that he was not feeling well. As a matter of fact, Roberto had to be rushed from the stage to the Alexandra Hospital, after complaining of not feeling well.
The valedictorian speech was delivered by the school’s ace student, Miss Josselyn Essien, the daughter of the patrons who thanked God; her parents; her teachers and the many persons within the community who would have helped her thus far, in achieving success and keeping her focused.
She had special warm words for her little brother, who she described as her best friend and who she stated had been very supportive to her.
She singled out her fellow classmates and described each one as having unique gifts and talents.
The over the top initiative introduced by the Education Department, saw several students receiving awards for outstanding work in specific areas of endeavour.
Dr. Essien and Dr. Bardales then presided over the presentation of gifts and certificates to the students of the school.
The parents of the graduating class then presented each teacher at the school with gift baskets and then Headmistress Wilkinson presented each one of her teachers with a token of appreciation for their efforts.
The parents of the graduating students then especially recognized the outstanding work of grade six teacher, Miss Udorna Liburd by gifting her a night for two at Nisbett’s Plantation Inn and a massage compliments of Compassionate touch.
The parents of the graduating students then received tokens from their children, all the while being serenaded in song by Rebecca Chowtipersad.
The evening’s proceedings climaxed with the candle lighting and recessional.
The 2015 graduating students at the Nevis Academy are: