Minister Smith congratulates Oranje School Class of 2018 | THE DAILY HERALD

Minister Wycliffe Smith with Oranje School Class of 2018 valedictorian Jin Lan Mo on Thursday.

PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Wycliffe Smith celebrated the success of Oranje School’s Graduating Class of 2018 at their school-leaving exercise held at the Dutch Quarter Community Centre on Thursday morning.

The theme of the ceremony this year was “My Passion Leads Me to My Purpose …Today My Life Begins!” Minister Smith addressed the gathering of pupils, parents and teachers, commending them for demonstrating the S’Maatn spirit of resilience after Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

He applauded the teachers for being able to push forward with the children’s education “despite their own family struggles and the damaged conditions of the classrooms.”

He spoke to the 33 graduates about finding their passion and fulfilling their God-given purpose. By sharing the story of singer Justin Bieber’s rise to fame and finding purpose, Smith encouraged the graduates to identify their passion, though it might be different from the norm, and pursue it.

This was the new minister’s first official ceremony since being sworn in on Monday. Smith told an attentive audience, “Your passion may not be everyone else’s idea of what you should be doing, but it is the only thing will bring you that satisfaction of a job well done.

“Study hard, practise often, and follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose, and therein lies the best days of your life!”

He advised parents and teachers to recognise the talent in each child and to support them in developing these into careers. With the diversity of the St. Maarten economy, all professions are needed, he said.

Smith declared his commitment and the plans from the Governing programme to repair and rebuild schools to be disaster-ready and to improve the curriculum and technological infrastructure that will better serve the community of St. Maarten.

The graduates will move on to the secondary level.

Oranje School’s graduating class of 2018 at their school-leaving exercise on Thursday morning.

Source: The Daily Herald