The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) School’s graduation ceremony on Sunday July 2, 2017, marked the end of a journey for a class of 19 students described by Pricnipal Wade Tobin as “high achievers.” During his remarks, Mr. Tobin challenged the graduating class to hold themselves to the high standards and values they had been taught at the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School.
The President of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC), Pastor Silton Browne, headed a list of invited guests which included: Premier of the BVI, Dr. D. Orlando Smith; Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, Andrew Fahie; Commencement Speaker, Ms. Kyra James; the NCC Education Director, Mrs. Gerene Joseph; and, Chairman Designee of the School Board, Pastor Sylvester Williams.
An elated Pastor Browne commended the graduates for their achievements and lauded the teachers and school for fostering the desire in the students to aim for excellence. “Over my 40 years of watching Adventist education in many parts of the world – in several islands of the Caribbean – there has never been a time when Adventist education is so comprehensively and consistently performing at a high level of excellence as is happening right now. And I’m glad that the BVI SDA School is not behind, and I thank your staff members for the performance.”
The BVI SDA School has, over the years, recorded 100% passes in the territory exams, as administered by the Ministry of Education. Ms. Kyra James, of the school’s graduating Class of 2012, challenged the students to, “Let God be the primary source of [your] light. He is the only one that knows the plans He has for you. In His word it says that He will never leave me nor forsake me. You will never be left in darkness.” Ms. James graduated with high honors in 2012, and this spring, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, cum laude, from the University of the Virgin Islands. She continued: “Invest in yourself. Consider the talents and abilities that God has placed in you when deciding on a career path. Discover your true passion and become so in love with your dreams that not only will you believe that attaining them is possible, but it’s necessary.”
Top students, Sharayah John and Rondel Hemerding, who respectively copped 17 and 13 awards, were commended for their acheivements and diligence. In his congratulations to the graduates, Dr D. Orlando Smith advised, “Earn medals, set records, break records, and be the best in your field. You have completed an important phase in your life… but this is just the beginning. Now the hard work begins. As you continue in life’s journey, you will be inspired by many things and persons around you. Let me encourage you to draw from those inspirations to fuel your energy.”
The BVI Seventh-day Adventist School, originally known as the Carrot Bay Seventh-day Adventist school, commenced its operation in the spring of 1954 under the leadership of Pastor Lionel David Braithwaite – with an enrolment of over fifty students. The school now boasts an enrollment of 323 and is one of five schools operated under the auspices of the North Caribbean Conference.