A weekend of celebration culminated in the commencement exercise for 15 seniors graduating from Triple C School.
The celebration activities started with a baccalaureate service on Sunday night with the seniors being inducted into the alumni association. The high point of the celebration was receiving their diplomas and certificates during commencement on Monday, 3 June from Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.
At the service, Kadi-Joy Merren, Class of 2004, was the keynote speaker. At the beginning of her speech, she shared with the graduates, the origin of the baccalaureate service, which is believed to have originated at the University of Oxford in 1432 and where each bachelor was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic requirements.
Miss Merren jokingly invited one of the graduates to deliver a sermon in Latin, which definitely brought fear, joy and relief to the students when they all knew she was not serious. She did share a Latin phrase with the students to embrace as they prepare to enter the next phase of their lives. It was “Carpe Diem” – seize the day.
Miss Merren spoke briefly about herself and the some of the challenges that she faced as a graduate, but she encouraged them to never give up.
For the commencement service, Chairwoman Vanessa Godfrey-Banks welcomed family members, friends, and well-wishers to First Baptist.
Simon Tatum, graduating with a 3.85 grade point average, delivered a heartfelt valedictory address. Simon took time to highlight each of his classmates and what made each one special, which played a big part in why their class was so unique.
Salutatorian Christal Samaroo took time to recognise everyone who played a key role in helping her get where she is today. For the subjects awards, the recipients were Ashley Bernard for Christian education, Christal Samaroo for English, Erick Faustino for mathematics, Brent Whittaker for science, Simon Tatum for social studies and Mellisa Morgan for business studies.
Subject awards are given in 6 disciplines to those students who have the highest average over a four-year period. Simon Tatum received the Outstanding Senior Award, an award that recognises scholarship, leadership, citizenship, loyalty, as well as peer and teacher rapport. Simon also received the Ernst & Young Award, for outstanding academic achievement. Simon will be attending the University of Missouri, studying art history, and minoring in business.
Pastor Alson Ebanks of the Church of God Chapel – George Town presented the Creative Christian Award to Ashley Bernard and Simon Tatum. 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.
Receiving the Community Service Award was Corriel Orrett for her work with the Save Our Youth organisation. High School Visual Arts Achievement Award, sponsored by the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, was presented to Simon Tatum. There were also two new scholarship awards presented this year, the Myles Music Award and the Triple C School PTA Scholarship Award for extracurricular excellence. The Myles Music Award recipient was Christal Samaroo and the PTA Scholarship Award went to Erick Faustino.
Former House Speaker Mary Lawrence, grandmother of Valedictorian Simon Tatum, gave the commencement address. Mrs. Lawrence told the graduates that they are all an “MIP” – Most Important Person – as they are all a unique creation, made by God.
As they prepare for the next stage in life, Mrs. Lawrence encouraged the graduates to pack their backpacks one more time, but this time include three important guidelines for the future: 1) Know Yourself – Who Am I, Who Am I to Me and spend some time in knowing who you are; 2) Love Yourself – To love others you must first love yourself; and 3) Be Yourself – Do not give who you are to try and be someone else.
Deputy Governor Manderson also spoke to the graduates before presenting them with their diplomas.
Mr. Manderon spoke on three words – “honour”, “respect” and “courage”. He noted that today, some of his own classmates are in the Legislative Assembly, while some are in Northward Prison.
Mr. Manderson expressed that he feels what made the difference between the two groups was that one took the time to honour parents and teachers, respect themselves, others, and the law, and courage to stand up for what was right and against those things that would pull them down.
He urged the graduates to remember those three words and to make it a part of their lives.