The Gordon Walters Primary School today officially said goodbye to its Class Of 2016 who are moving on to greener pastures –– charting a new course in their educational lives.
Under the theme When We Believe, We Will Achieve, Gordon Walters principal Tyrone Marshall recounted the 2015-2016 year of highs and lows, proving “God is still on his throne”. The vision of the school, Marshall said, was “to see our children as adults functioning with healthy self-images and operating at their highest potential” after leaving “this love-filled environment”.
Thirty-nine Gordon Walters students sat the Common Entrance Examination this year, and while for them English was above the national average, Marshall confessed mathematics continued to be the subject of difficulty. After viewing the paper, he had concluded it was too tough for 11-year-old sitters –– and even adults.
This year, Yassara Best and Donté Coppin came out on top, securing places at Harrison College and Christ Church Foundation School, respectively.
Marshall told the graduates: “You have fought a good fight, you have finished your primary school course; you are all winners in our eyes.”
Barbados Economic Society president Jeremy Stephen, a graduate of the Gordon Walters Class Of 1995, gave the keynote address. In his presentation, titled Why Old People Will Save Your Life, Stephen shared tips with the graduands whom he called family.
Knowing yourself, leaning on your best influences, especially family, and knowing who you are motivated by were some of the bits of advice.
“Don’t mind what any of us ‘old people’ say. Yes, old people can save your life by sometimes ignoring their advice,” Stephen joked, adding that the students should do what comes naturally to them, capitalizing on their talents.
Noting that persons born after the year 2000 just might be the greatest generation because of the Internet, the economist suggested the advancement of artificial intelligence would replace jobs within the next 15 years. Stephen stressed, though, that children needed greater exposure to computer software from an early age rather than being consumers of games
like Angry Birds, so as not to be lost in the job market.
Still referring to the school by its former name St Patrick’s Primary, the featured speaker urged the members of his graduating family to “be the best or nothing”.
A pictorial reflection –– via video –– of the journey of the Class Of 2016 sparked laughter from the graduates, and even tears from some parents.
Valedictorian Yassara Best reminded peers they ought to thank Almighty God for their achievements, and advised, as they go off to their various secondary schools, that they commit themselves to hard work, giving of their best –– never giving up.
Graduands entertained their parents and teachers with poetry, song and dance. From the cha cha to line dancing, they all showcased their talents.
In the poem We Believe, graduates recited:
Champions, yes, that’s who we are;
For our eyes we fix on the morning star;
Our Goliaths will fall when like David we stand:
The stone of faith our conqueror.