They are leaving behind the familiar and embarking on the next phase of their academic lives. And the graduates of the Erdiston Special School have been told to approach this new chapter as conquerors.
Admitting they will yet encounter challenges, Dr Junnie Lynch, a teacher in education psychology and special needs education at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, in her keynote address, urged the ten boys and four girls not to be daunted by the obstacles they would be confronted with –– but to face them head-on.
Lynch was this morning speaking under the graduating Class Of 2016 theme I Am A Conqueror, I Will Never Accept Defeat.
“As you leave this school to go on to your new schools, you’re going to meet some challenges; some Goliaths, so to speak,” the educator advised the students. “It will be a new environment; you will meet new teachers, new students, new subjects.
“You might meet people who will tell you, ‘You can’t do it; you’re not good enough’. When you are confronted with these things I want you to remember David,” Lynch said making reference The Bible story of David and Goliath.
Of the 14 students, four sat the Common Entrance Exam, but one decided against taking the placement.
Tyrese Moseley is headed to St George Secondary School, as well as Bryeisha Worrell; and Nathan Wiltshire will attend Princess Margaret Secondary School.
With those achievements Lynch had this declaration for the students: “I am a conqueror, I will listen, respect and obey. I am a conqueror, I will ask questions to find out. I am a conqueror, I will not be afraid. I am a conqueror, I will trust the Almighty. I am a conqueror, I will never accept defeat.”
The featured speaker heaped praises on the teachers, and on the parents too whose work, she told them, had only just begun.
“This will also be a challenging time for you. This is not the time to give up or leave your children on their own, but to walk with them. Teenage years can be troublesome years. Don’t give up or give in.”
Lynch said that apart from the parental duties, parents should continue to be advocates and champions of their children’s dreams.
“Push for opportunities for them where possible. Guide them as they seek to fulfil their dreams, and encourage them when you see they are feeling discouraged.
“Get help for them when necessary . . . . Please don’t leave them on their own,” the educator advised.