A weekend celebration culminated in the commencement exercises for 22 high school seniors graduating from Triple C School in Grand Cayman.
Starting with an induction into the alumni association on Sunday afternoon at the alumni beach social and a baccalaureate service on Sunday night, the high point of their celebration was receiving their diplomas and certificates during commencement on Monday, 11 June from Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.
During the service, Dr. Karina Palmer-Forde, co-valedictorian of the class of 1996, shared with the students the top-10 things you need to know to be successful. Dr. Forde also shared some of the experiences that allowed her to be the person she is today including trusting the lord even when the prospects for meeting her life goals seemed bleak. She encouraged students to also believe in themselves and to make service to others an important part of their lives.
The crowd of some 600 was welcomed the First Baptist Church by Chairman of the Board Vanessa Godfrey-Banks for the graduation ceremony, which began as robed faculty baring candles – symbolically lighting the way – processed to the front of the church and formed a receiving line.
Lucille Williams-Fernandez, graduating with a 3.9 grade point average, delivered a heart-felt valedictory address. She shared how Triple C School helped her grow in her faith and also excel in her academics. She highlighted that Carmen Reimer, a former Triple C School Spiritual Life Director and Christian education teacher, was a great mentor for her. Ms Williams-Fernandez was the subject awards recipient for history, English, mathematics, science and Christian education. In addition, she received the Outstanding Senior Award, which recognises, scholarship, leadership, citizenship, loyalty, and peer and teacher rapport and the Ernst & Young award, presented by Claire Loebell from Ernst & Young, for outstanding academic achievement. Her career goal is to become an orthopaedic surgeon.
Marissa Ashby’s salutatory address focused on qualities of a leader; she encouraged her classmates to hone their skills to be a leader in their community and world.
Satina Stoll received the subject award for business studies. Subject awards are given in six disciplines to those students who have the highest average during a 4-year period.
Pastor Alson Ebanks of the Church of God Chapel – George Town presented the Creative Christian Award to Lucille Williams-Fernandez, Ryan Nugent and Soraya Serrano Cruz. This award is given to students who have accepted the Lord as their personal saviour and who are living out their witness for the Lord both in and out of school. All three of the recipients shared about their faith.
Receiving the Community Service Awards were Kathleen Gracey and Jonathan Peguero for their work with the Save Our Youth organisation. High School Visual Arts Achievement Award, sponsored by the National Gallery, was presented to Kathleen Gracey. Pastor Alson, valedictorian of the class of 1969, gave the graduating class a relevant and memorable message. Pastor Alson’s message theme was “One Person Can Make a Difference.” Citing many examples from the past and present of where one person with passion and purpose had made a difference in his/her world and ours, he emphasised to the students that success in the world’s terms is position, possessions, and power, but true success results from becoming all that God had planned for them according to their chosen Scripture, Jeremiah 29:11. He encouraged them to honour their God-given gifts and acquired skills to make a positive difference in their world.
Of this year’s graduating class, 75 per cent of the students will be going to colleges and universities locally and in the United States or Canada.