President’s College, on Thursday last, hosted its 28th Graduation Ceremony. One hundred and twenty-eight students received certificates – attesting to their completion of secondary education – along with awards and trophies for outstanding performances.
The graduation ceremony was held under the theme “Embracing our school’s culture, holding steadfast to the spirit of excellence” with the guest speakers being Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Dr. Colleen Bovell, Psychiatrist and former student, along with the School Board’s Chairman, Clement Corlette.
Beginning the formal proceeding was Deputy Principal Samantha Success who called the event to order, after which there were inspirational performances by the school’s choir, dance groups, and steel orchestra.
In her report, Ms Success told the gathering that the academic year 2017-2018 was a “phenomenal and historic” one, as the college would have yielded a stunning one hundred percent pass rate in Mathematics and an overall pass rate of ninety-five percent.
The deputy headmistress commended the students, teachers and other participants, while adding emphasis to the quote “excellence is a habit and not an act”. She further stated that no one should trivialize their (the school’s) accomplishment since it did not happen by chance, but through hard work, commitment and dedication.
The deputy head teacher then handed the podium over to Board Chairman Clement Corlette who urged the students not to cease their studies but to continue to develop themselves.
He also encouraged the graduands to consider utilizing their knowledge in their country of origin.
“I trust that our graduands would find it fitting to consider placing their knowledge at the surface of our country… I think it is only fair that you consider your country” were some of the sentiments shared by Corlette.
Dr. Colleen Bovell then addressed the gathering, sharing unforgettable moments with the graduands and attendees of her days at President’s College. She then charged the students to take it upon themselves and posit the question: “what are the five things I want people to remember about me?”
The psychiatrist expressed agreement with a quote by motivational speaker Les Brown when he said that “if you do things the hard way your life becomes easy, but if you do things the easy way your life becomes hard.”
Bovell also urged the graduands to create an achiever’s mind-set, put in the time to feed their minds with positive thoughts, and stand guard at their mind’s door or else people would dump garbage there. In closing, she reminded them that their dreams are possible even if not easy to achieve.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry who congratulated the group of graduands and told them that where much is given, much is expected. She also expressed the expectation of an overall one hundred percent pass rate in the coming academic year.
“Education is near and dear to our hearts, and we believe that it is only through education that we can take this country from poverty to prosperity, and so congratulations as you continue your journey to greatness, the education ministry is particularly proud of you. I’m looking forward to attending this graduation next year and there must be one hundred percent passes in all the subject areas.”
The final guest speaker was Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, who congratulated all the graduands and shared the exaltation with their teachers and parents while urging the students to remember the grounding they would have received at President College.
Nagamootoo shared his experiences of growing up in a small fishing village, starting school barefooted, and saving pennies from selling fish with his mother for his first high school term. He urged the students to keep moving, whether they have to walk, run, fly or even creep or crawl, just keep going forward, making reference to the song of Guyana’s Children, which encourages the attitude, ‘onward, upward may we ever go’.
Being awarded at the ceremony on the CAPE level, were the best graduating student and valedictorian Zawadi Collins, best CAPE student for 2018 Denisha Leitch, runner-up Sudesh Narine, along with the student who passed the most units in one sitting, Isaiah Canterbury.
At the CSEC level, some of the awardees were Sakuntala Sookraj who copped the position of best graduating student and runner-up Lamon Friday.
The college also honoured best performers in individual subject areas and performers who would have made the merit list. Among those were Lamon Friday, who was the best graduating Science student, best Geography, Chemistry, and Industrial Technology student, and Sudesh Narine, who is the best graduating Portuguese student in the Caribbean.
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