The St Paul’s Primary School Class Of 2016 on Wednesday stepped up to the next level of their education, driven by Discipline, Determination And Dedication.
The 3 Ds of excellence made up the theme of the school’s graduation where 49 graduands were saluted for their success as they commence a new phase.
Senior Education Officer Fernando Carter sent greetings from the Ministry of Education. He commended and congratulated graduates on a job well done, telling them in whatever they pursued, always make a positive difference.
Principal Sandra Small-Thompson gave her remarks reviewing the 2015-2016 year that exemplified excellence in all areas.
In the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination, excellent results were achieved of which she provided an analysis. Four students gained 90 to 100 in mathematics, eight in English; five scored 80 to 89 in mathematics, 15 in English. Saskia Ward and Tristan Nurse emerged Top Girl and Top Boy respectively.
“The desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential: these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence,” Small-Thompson told the graduates.
To parents, she implored them to instil discipline from early, have the courage to correct their children when wrong, and set reasonable limits as they got older.
Retired principal and teacher Wilmont Straughn was honoured to deliver the featured address. Referring to the theme, he told graduates that the 3 Ds of excellence should always be on their reports, as they never meant failure.
“Desire is the beginning of every goal. You have to have the desire to do well. You must have that desire to succeed,” Straughn emphasized, making desire the fourth D to take graduands to the very end, beyond the horizon.
Straughn used the Bible story of Daniel and the three Hebrew boys to show graduands they would encounter changes they didn’t always have to conform to.
He told the students they might be exposed to poor manners and abusive language, but they must stay true to their excellent values. He stressed that like Daniel and the Hebrew boys, they needed not conform to all changes just because others did so, remaining innocent, caring and kind.
In her valedictorian speech, Saskia Ward noted that it was a special day for all graduates who had successfully reached the finish line of their seven-year marathon. She made reference to the Mighty Sparrow who once sang “school days were happy, happy days”.
The sentiments of the school motto, a healthy balance between academic and non-academic activities, along with an experience filled with non-academic lessons, including obedience and responsibility, made their days happy.
Ward advised: “Stay true to yourselves, look for support and guidance from your family and mentors, avoid the wrong crowd, set reasonable goals and don’t impose unreasonable limits upon yourselves.”