“We have done it! Today we have made history …” said the Civil Service College’s first Valedictorian (Myra) Joy Watson. “But today is ‘farewell’ to what we have already achieved, and the beginning of a new chapter.”
She and the other civil servants who constituted the first graduating class of government’s Civil Service College were commended by senior government and University College of the Cayman Islands officials. They, along with relatives and friends, witnessed the graduation on Thursday, 15 December.
A mother of four and grandmother of 13, Ms Watson earned a 3.81 grade-point-average, but already has her sights set on higher achievements. An office administrator, she has been employed with the Planning Department since January 1994.
Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks told the class, “I’m honoured to be a part of this significant milestone in the development of the civil service. The civil service as a whole can be proud of your accomplishments.”
He said all government workers have a duty to be as knowledgeable as possible about the services they provide.
“How else can we modern and efficient?” he asked.
The five members of the inaugural graduating class completed the Associate of Arts in Public Administration programme – three with honours. They are: Jason Azan (Hons.), (Francisca) Elena Calzado (Hons.), Siscely Solomon (Hons.), (Myra) Joy Watson (Valedictorian) and Sidehan Whittaker – who received the college’s Spirit Award.
As part of their training, the graduates also completed the Institute of Leadership and Management certification. Deputy Civil Service College Director Andrea Fa’amoe said officials opted to include the ILM certificate as part of the associate’s degree curriculum because of the solid grounding that it provides in business, management and leadership; subjects that were felt to be key components of performing well in the civil service.
“It is hard to believe that we only started this programme two years ago. In addition to the dedication of our students, I believe that our choices with regards to content and delivery are key reasons that we were able to accomplish so much, including offering courses online, in so little time,” Mrs. Faamoe said.
Several other civil servants also completed the ILM training. They were Joyce Christian of the Economics and Statistics Office, Egbert Jackson of the Planning Department and Major Ricardo Henry of the Cadet Corps. The others were:
(Cayman Islands Fire Service) Senior Fire Control Operator Carson A. Ebanks, Fire Officer Shimar Harding, Lead Fire Officer Ian McLaughlin, Station Officer Gilbert Rankin, Sub-Officer Carl Christian and Sub-Officer Rodney Rivers.
(Royal Cayman Islands Police Service) Detective Constable Beverley Sullivan and Constable Cardiff Robinson.
The commencement address was presented by Deputy Governor Designate Franz Manderson. His civil service career, from a 16-year-old intern to chief immigration officer, and to the top of the civil service, has been a model of dedication, education and hard work – but built around the anticipation of the each coming challenge.
“I ask you, ‘What’s Next?’,” Mr. Manderson said. “Another degree, a master’s, a doctorate …? What’s your career plan? When is your next promotion? … I hope that, before long, I will have the opportunity to celebrate with you on your next achievement.”
UCCI President Roy Bodden offered plaudits on behalf of the UCCI’s Board of Governors.
“Most of you – with full-time jobs and families – have surmounted challenges that most ordinary students don’t have,” Mr. Bodden said. “You are now on the path to self-actualization and upward mobility, and UCCI is prepared to partner as you expand your knowledge.”