Year 11 and 13 students recently celebrated their graduation from St. Ignatius Catholic School during a memorable ceremony at a packed Loyola Hall.
Cheered on by friends, family and members of the school community, the graduates received certificates reflecting their graduation from the school’s IGCSE or A Level programmes and many received individual prizes for academic and other achievements.
This year’s Year 11 graduating class were reminded by the school’s Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Rice that they had reached the goal set two years ago of achieving the highest number of Honours graduates of any graduating group with a total of 11, beating the previous school record of eight. The majority of the Year 11 graduates will return to the school in September to begin their AS Level courses.
Year 13 graduates were presented with their advanced diplomas by Chris Duggan, Chairman of the Board of Governors. The majority of the Year 13 graduates will immediately go on to higher education at good universities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The guest speaker for the evening was Monsignor Jeffrey Monforton, Rector of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, who presented certificates and prizes and made the graduation address.
He quoted Robert Frost’s poem The Road Less Travelled, and reflected on his own decision as a younger man to become a priest. Amongst many carefully selected pieces of advice, he advised the graduates to place their trust in God when faced with difficult choices in the future.
The student address was given by Kelsie McLean. During a very well-delivered address, Ms McLean reflected on the closeness of the graduating group, a number of whom had been together since kindergarten and how they had overcome a difficult introduction to their high school careers in 2004 due to Hurricane Ivan.
On behalf of the group, she thanked the parents and teaching staff for their constant support and guidance, and acknowledged that being at St. Ignatius had provided the group with many opportunities to fulfill their academic potential and strengthen their faith. She reminded her classmates that wherever their future paths lay that the group had made bonds that could never be broken.
During his address, the Head of Secondary Mr. Embleton reminded the community of the school’s recent strong examination results as well as the many varied opportunities for personal and spiritual growth provided by the school and which the graduates had participated in and contributed to.
Thanking the staff, parents and community for their ongoing support, he also announced that the school had agreed to begin to build a new sixth form study area and common room to meet the demand of the growing sixth form numbers and better meet the needs of the senior students.
As well as including speeches and the presentation of certificates and prizes, the graduation ceremony also included musical items from the school’s concert and steel bands, led by Simon Donoghue and Ostan Matthews.
Following a closing prayer by Father Alex Crasta and the singing of the National Song, the happy graduates joined staff, families and friends at the post-graduation reception in the school cafeteria.