PHILIPSBURG–It was a special day for St. Joseph School pupils when they were graced with an hour-long visit from Governor Eugene Holiday last week. Some 217 children and their teachers were lined up to welcome him.
School Manager Dorothee Illis-Laurence and Group 8 class teacher Amaris Slac received the Governor and his Aide-de-Camp as they entered the school. The Governor was escorted to the Group 8 classroom where he spent his time talking and reminiscing with the graduating class of 2017 about his high school days after leaving primary school.
After class teacher Slac and her Group 8 class visited the Governor’s Cabinet on invitation in April, Holiday was invited to visit the pupils at school, to which he responded positively. During the visit, the Group 8 pupils entertained with the song “Rise” by McClain Sisters.
Governor Holiday shared some memories of his primary school days as a pupil at St. Joseph School some 42 years ago and then moving on to secondary school. He learned quite some lessons along the way while having the strong guidance of his mother in his life. He said to the pupils, “A child without education is like a bird without wings.” He also quoted from Nelson Mandela that education is the most powerful weapon you can have to change the world.
When asked by one of the pupils why the English-language schools had to sit the same Foundation-Based Education (FBE) Dutch exit exams as the Dutch-language schools, with emphasis that Dutch schools clocked more Dutch hours, Holiday said it was a standard assessment and encouraged all to work hard on their Dutch competence and “not let anyone get an edge over them.”
He left the pupils with some sound advice like “work hard and put your best foot forward” and “do not follow the crowd.” He explained the importance of always keeping a clean slate, as one day they too could become Governor of St. Maarten. Therefore, good conduct, clean fun and choosing good friends are very important.
The Governor also congratulated the class for their performance on the FBE exit exams for Group 8, in particular Akarsh Bhatia for placing first country-wide and Saheli Kirpalani who placed second country-wide. “You have done your school proud and your parents proud. Keep working hard,” he said.
Governor Holiday was a pupil of St. Joseph School before moving on to Milton Peters College. He was impressed with the changes and improvements of St. Joseph School.
On exiting the school, recess was in progress and the Governor participated in shooting a few hoops with the pupils on the court at the school.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67002-governor-pays-a-visit-to-st-joseph-school