As the graduates of the Lawrence T. Gay Memorial School embark on their new journeys to determine their destiny, principal Beverley Parris is urging them to make the best possible use of their opportunities.
She was yesterday addressing the 93 students at the annual graduation and prize giving ceremony at the Lester Vaughan School in Cane Garden, St. Thomas. This year the top student and PTA President’s Challenge Shield winner was Brianna Turton, who gained 238.89 and a “B” in composition and will be attending Queen’s College in September.
Also joining her at QC will be top boy, Asher Smith, who obtained 238.24 “C” in the exam, while the lone student going to Harrison College is Rohan Springer-Best.
Parris commended all the students for the good job they did in the Common Entrance Exam and assured some that though they may have missed their goals by a few marks, all was not lost.
“Whichever of these 21 schools you attend, you will be given the opportunity to determine your destiny,” the principal advised. “Go with open minds, prepared to continue to develop physically, mentally, socially, spiritually and emotionally.
“Boys and girls, make your studies a priority. Act responsibly at all times. Do not be negatively influenced by peer pressure. If the occasion arises where you have to stand alone for what is right, do so. Create a prayerful attitude.”
She added: “If you are so resolved, you will all either meet at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Barbados Community College or a local, regional or international university, depending on the skills, talents and aptitudes that you cultivate.
“For the last seven years you determined how today was destined to be. The amount of work you put in from the Infants until now, your attitude towards school and authority all played a pivotal role. You will also determine your fate, based on what you do over the next five years or so.”
The principal also stressed to the parents gathered their role they played in the lives of their children was crucial and she further encouraged them to continue to provide all the necessary attention they needed.
The veteran educator entreated them to stand by their offspring during the “turbulent” teens, to monitor their friends, study habits, sites they surfed on the Internet and the homes they visited or at which they overnight.
“Get them involved in at least one extra-curricular activity. Remember that tertiary institutions look beyond the academics; they are seeking individuals who are multifaceted,” she advised.
Meanwhile, guest speaker Dawn Marie Pearson also gave a very motivational address on DARE: Determination. Activation, Revelation and Education.
At the ceremony, the principal’s prize for discipline went to Tameka Walcott, who also won the Averil Scantlebury Award for best all round student. The Ardith Young Award for science went to Khalya Reid, and the Ryan Brathwaite Sports Award was given to Jaliah Tison.
Javon Marshall and Sheniece Clarke received the Grafton Hinds Prize in music. Jopaul Worrell was rewarded for being an outstanding student and Krishna Clarke was recognised for her discipline.
Students this year were allocated to: The Alleyne School — five, Alexandra School, Alma Parris, Graydon Sealy Secondary, Combermere, Lester Vaughan, Springer Memorial and The St. Michael School — two each, Christ Church Foundation, The Lodge School and the Princess Margaret Secondary — one each. Nine students gained entry into the Coleridge & Parry School, seven each to Darryl Jordan Secondary and Ellerslie, 12 to Frederick Smith Secondary, six to Grantley Adams Memorial,