Female students dominated the list of top achievers graduating from the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) this year.
Four of the five top achievers, who maintained an ‘A’ average every term from Grade 7 to Grade 12, were female.
They were: Class of 2018 valedictorian Beyonce Defreitas, Smeralda Avril, Shamika Langford, and Shanique Sully. The sole male to make the list was Abdiel Mateo.
They were all received ‘exemplary performance’ awards.
A total of 139 students enrolled in Grade 12 this year but only 124 students met graduation requirements. Out of that cohort of graduates, there were 67 honour roll students – 63 receiving honours and five receiving high honours.
Graduates not deterred by hurricanes
While congratulating the graduates, ESHS Principal Sandy Underhill urged them to let the 2017-2018 school year be ‘all the motivation they need to continue on your life’s journey’.
She said, despite the hardships faced as a result of the 2017 hurricanes, the students performed well.
“Class of 2018, you symbolize not only the heart and resilience of our school but strength, determination, and pure will of our Virgin Islands,” she said.
“While our school suffered tremendous loss and devastation from the hurricanes, you did not allow that to deter you.”
Underhill also paid tribute to a former student Shadeka Patrick who died from illness on June 26 of this year.
Underhill bestowed an honorary diploma to her family. Her father George Patrick received it on their behalf.
“Let us remember Shadeka’s zest for life, her artistic gifts and her selfless nature as we move forward to take our places in the world,” Underhill said. “Let her legacy inspire us to be our very best.”
Education Minister Myron Walwyn, who also gave remarks, charged students to assess the needs of the territory and make a difference.
“As you move on to the next phase of your life, I encourage you to think of the contributions that you want to make towards the development of the Virgin Islands and actively work to ensure that they are realised.”
He continued: “Whether those contributions will be in education, construction, financial services, agriculture or health services, the government and the people of this territory are depending on you to leave your fingerprints on the creation of a modern Virgin Islands.”
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, Opposition leader Andrew Fahie, along with other legislators were present at the ceremony which took place at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College campus in Paraquita Bay on Thursday.
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