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Consider how you can contribute to territory, world- SDA School graduates told

- BVI Seventh-day Adventist School recorded a 100% pass rate, with all 27 students recording Grade Ones in their School Leaving Exams
The graduating students of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School in song. Photo: VINO
Valedictorian Zoyia T. Ettienne, the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School’s top student, with a perfect GPA of 4.3, with her many trophies. Photo: VINO
Valedictorian Zoyia T. Ettienne, the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School’s top student, with a perfect GPA of 4.3, with her many trophies. Photo: VINO
Shining moment for the 2016 Class of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School. Photo: VINO
Shining moment for the 2016 Class of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith challenged the graduates to consider how they could contribute to the development of the Territory, and by extension, the world. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith challenged the graduates to consider how they could contribute to the development of the Territory, and by extension, the world. Photo: VINO
Opposition Leader and Third District Representative, Hon Julian Fraser RA gives his remarks. Photo: VINO
Opposition Leader and Third District Representative, Hon Julian Fraser RA gives his remarks. Photo: VINO
A large number of persons attended the graduation ceremony of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School on July 3, 2016. Photo: VINO
A large number of persons attended the graduation ceremony of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School on July 3, 2016. Photo: VINO
Guest speaker and past student of the BVI SDA School, Amal Taylor. Photo: VINO
Guest speaker and past student of the BVI SDA School, Amal Taylor. Photo: VINO
Retired legislator Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (right), alongside Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7). Photo: VINO
Retired legislator Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (right), alongside Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7). Photo: VINO
Salutatorian, Shania N. Sabaroche, who made 87.6% and a GPA of 4.0. Photo: VINO
Salutatorian, Shania N. Sabaroche, who made 87.6% and a GPA of 4.0. Photo: VINO
Shining moment for the 2016 Class of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School. Photo: VINO
Shining moment for the 2016 Class of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School. Photo: VINO
Proud parents! Photo: VINO
Proud parents! Photo: VINO
PARAQUITA BAY, Tortola, VI- The 2016 graduating class of the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School were told many things to further encourage them as they move on from secondary level schooling.

One of the advices came from Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith who challenged them to consider how they could contribute to the development of the territory, and by extension, the world.

“Graduates, let me say that you are not too young to start charting your course. Use the foundation that you have attained at the Seventh-day Adventist Secondary Division, and from parents and guardians to plan your future,” Premier Smith said at the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School’s Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony held Sunday July 3, 2016 at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Tentorium at Paraquita Bay.

The BVI Seventh-day Adventist School recorded a 100% pass rate, with all 27 students recording Grade Ones in their School Leaving Exams. Eighteen (18) of the students made the Honour Roll students, with five (5) achieving High Honours.

Zoyia T. Ettienne emerged as the top student, with a perfect GPA of 4.3, while Shania N. Sabaroche was the Salutatorian with 87.6% and a GPA of 4.0.

“Perhaps you may be the next scientist to find a solution for global warming or to bring the world one step closer to a cure for cancer…” Premier Smith continued.

Among the many persons in attendance was the retired legislator and former Premier of the Virgin Islands, Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE.

Prepare yourself for leadership of Territory

Leader of the Opposition and Third District Representative, Hon Julian Fraser RA told the students that he was immensely proud of this class of 2016 "to see that you have acknowledged the responsibility to take on the challenges to preserve your heritage, because this especially wraps your whole life’s focus into a theme I found quiet interesting: - The past, the present and the future-.

"Your recognition that the future is your challenge suggest a certain maturity that is rarely expected at your age and relative level of maturity, so for that I am encouraged. And for that matter, the territory should be also."

Noting that he is as proponent of education, Hon Fraser added he is "a believer that your generation must prepare yourself for the leadership of this territory if it is to survive and flourish within the 21th century. Looking at your chosen scripture, I can tell that you are confident that this is the kind of good work in you that Christ will see to the end."

Continue soaring

Acting Chief Education Officer Connie E. George, in her printed message to the graduates, said "As you embrace the future that lies ahead, I encourage you to continue soaring, continue boldly stepping forward, continue marching to the drum beat of academic success. Be reminded always of the words in your school motto to “Aspire, Achieve and Advance.” Never settle for mediocrity. Aspire always to achieve above and beyond the ordinary. Develop yourself and be the best at it."

George also admonished the students to remain wise and open to sound instruction and Godly counsel. "Your foundation in the Christian school was, I believe, ordained of God so do not go away from it but embrace the truth of the scripture that “God who began a good work in you will do a complete work through Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:6). Identify your strengths and do not allow them to be eroded due to neglect. Avoid anything or anyone that will diminish your success. May you embrace growth and excellence, and never forget to be thankful," George stated.

Overcoming challenges

Chairman of the BVI SDA School's Board of Management Pastor Holford Brown said the BVI SDA School is one of the best educational institutions in the [British] Virgin Islands and that it has performed at a high level of excellence throughout its eleven-year history.

"With each year comes different challenges and we have had our share of them during this year. The fact that all of the students who began this final year of secondary school are graduating, says that in spite of the many challenges they have made it to the end of the journey. To God be the glory for the things he has done!"

Historic events

Principal Wade W. Tobin said the Class of 2016 was graduating in a year of historic events and advised them to not ignore the possible effects on their lives. 

"So far, 2016 is certainly keeping the world on edge. You are graduating during a time of historic events: the 2016 NBA Championship between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the unorthodox presidential elections of the United States between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Brexit Vote (the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union), and the global war against ISIS just to name a few. While you may be far removed from close proximity to these events, never underestimate their far reaching implications."

Further, Principal Tobin said it was envisioned that the training and values that students have garnered have prepared them for the encounters of life. "I am particularly pleased that this training has come to fruition in the felicitous selection of your class theme: “the past is my heritage, the present – my responsibility, the future- my challenge,” buttressed by the motto: Aspire, Achieve, Advance."

The guest speaker was Mr Amal Taylor, a product of the BVI Seventh-Day Adventist School; graduating primary in 2005 and Valedictorian of secondary in 2010. He then enrolled in Oakwood University where he majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. Taylor graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in May of 2016 and is slated to begin Washington University School of Medicine in the Fall of this year.

Mr Taylor encouraged the students to persevere despite the odds and to always remember that service to humanity was part of their life's mission.

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