“Soaring To Excellence on Christ our Rock,” was the theme which united a weekend of activities for the St. Maarten Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) School’s elementary graduating class of 2017. It was hosted at the Cole Bay SDA Church and out of 41 students eligible to graduate, 38 participated. The main speaker for the Consecration Service on Friday, June 30th, was Teacher Shoya Hurst from the St. Maarten SDA School, who is an Antiguan native. She encouraged the graduates to remember the foundational teachings they received; to choose friends with whom they can walk toward success; and, to be like a tree that bears fruit. The graduating class members honored their parents with red roses and expressions of love and appreciation.
On Sabbath, Pastor Esdaile delivered a soul-searching sermon, and reminded students and the graduating class that they should make God the pilot of their life and let Him take them home. A team of community police officers was on hand to present certificates to students who had participated in the Cops and Kids program during the school year – they awarded Jameya Spaulding for her excellent performance as a student in the program activities.
At the Commencement Exercise on Sunday, July 3rd, the graduating class members were adorned in beautiful purple and gold gowns – their bright and sparkling faces seemed to express relief that this chapter of their life was over. The keynote speaker was the young, energetic and vibrant Ms. Elande St. Cyr, a former student of the school, who is now a registered nurse at one of the medical centers on St. Maarten. She emphasized the importance of being grateful to teachers, parents and guardians for everything. She reminded the students that as they grow and change, they should seek to improve and seek God to be successful.
The Honorable Minister of Education, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, addressed the graduating class and highlighted the value of teamwork. She advised the class to develop strong wings in order to soar. She complimented them for contributing to the legacy that the SDA school produced well-behaved children.
The Valedictorian, Ms. Diya Chatani, focused her remarks on following your dream. Her dream was to be a valedictorian and she worked hard at it. She told the graduating class that they should never give up because if you believe, you will achieve.
An emotional Mrs. Ruth Connor was on hand to present the Alvin Connor Award, in memory of her deceased husband, to the Valedictorian. Mrs. Connor encouraged the graduating class members to strive for excellence with every ounce of blood in their body. She told the students, in attendance, to make the SDA school the best school, with top grades. Finally, she encouraged parents to choose wisely and send their children to the SDA School.
Submitted by Jackie Barry