97 students graduate from the St. Maarten Academy

A section of the graduates.

CAY HILL–Ninety-seven students graduated from St. Maarten Academy during a ceremony themed: “You are the Architect of your life – Design it! Build it! Live it!” held at the Belair Community Centre on Monday evening.

  Of the 97, 85 were Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) graduates and 12 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE) graduates.

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  Tatiana Narine was named CAPE valedictorian, Tyra Philip first runner-up CAPE valedictorian and Alacia Jiwanand second runner-up. Qiwen Chen was named CSEC valedictorian, with Suze E. Cobyte first runner-up and Mabel Vilorio Perez second runner-up.

  Principal Tallulah Baly-Vanterpool told attendees the school was celebrating another year of excellent results at the May/June sitting of the CSEC examinations offered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), as the school secured 100 per cent school passes and 92 per cent college passes (students scoring Grades I-III in at least five subjects). Most students scored Grades I-III, with several outstanding performances. The Class of 2017 worked very hard and was resolute in their mission to excel at the examinations, she said.

A section of attendees.

  She told students that as they leave from “under the protective wings” of Academy, they should take with them the lessons learned in and outside of the classroom, and lessons learned about character and leadership.

  “Know that you always have a home here. Carry yourself with confidence, knowing that you have received a solid foundation at the Academy that will allow you to be successful wherever life takes you,” she said.

  “Know your worth. No one can determine for you what you deserve in life. You determine for you what you deserve, by your belief in yourself, hard work and by never giving up even when nothing seems to be going your way. It is in those moments you find your strength and opportunity. You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

  “Remember, you are God’s child, and with God all things are possible.

  “Surround yourself with people who will fill your cup, choose to do ‘the right thing’ even though there is no one there to see you do it, and be the best self you can be. … The world is waiting for you, your destiny has been chartered. Your future begins right here, right now.”

  In his keynote address Tourist Office Head Rolando Brison, a former student, said Academy is a great institution for educational and social growth. He told the graduates they are the generation who has witnessed first-hand that they can create almost anything out of nothing but effort, ingenuity, creativity and ambition. He called them the “challenge accepted generation.”

  “You know the meme, right? Hands crossed, cocky-looking figure with the words ‘CHALLENGE ACCEPTED’ in caps. I think that right there is you. I think you know the challenge is ahead and you are ready for anything. There is a lot you will have to do.”

  He told students that no matter what they become, a lot of what they will do will involve personal marketing.

  “Just as any product must have its own identifiable brand, you must create your own brand: I mean this quite literally: get a logo. In all your words, actions and beliefs, you should really show what your brand stands for. Ask your parents to buy your name or brand as a website. Costs like $10 a year,” he said.

  “… My mission tonight is to do my best to tell you you are amazing, full of potential and can accept any challenge. Own your brand! You have seen us create things out of nothing, showing you that quite literally, anything is possible.

  “You have seen our mistakes and what you should avoid. You know you need to create your own self-brand and recognise that what we see is what we expect to get. And you recognise that you are a high-value product that our generation is fully aware will come at a hefty price – so claim that hefty price by all means.”
  Attendees at the well-attended ceremony included Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Affairs Secretary-General Jorien Wuite representing the Minister, the Division of Examinations head and local CXC Registrar Yvette Halley, Education Department Inspection representative Sachel Hyman and principals and school managers of several elementary and secondary schools, amongst others. 

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72049-97-students-graduate-from-the-st-maarten-academy