ST. EUSTATIUS–During the eighth graduation ceremony of Bethel Methodist School teachers, pupils and many community well-wishers gave the graduates a great send-off at the Lion’s Den. Theme of the event was “Positive Dreams: A Successful Future.” A future will now await them in their next and new school term at Gwendoline van Putten (GvP) School.
Master of Ceremonies was class teacher Yannick Jordaan, who confidently steered the programme towards the ultimate presentation of certificates. His occasional quips about the characters of his graduates were gentle and amusing.
Welcome and opening remarks were delivered by Ellis Woodley who has been school principal since 2006. “Take risks and do not be afraid to make mistakes,” he advised the 13 graduates. “That is how we move forward in life. Use your emotional GPS for control and give purpose to your life’s story.”
One of the stars of the evening was perhaps ten-year-old Ishn Courtar, who visibly moved his audience with his wonderful voice. That same voice recently won him a trophy and laptop at an inter-scholastic song contest on St. Maarten. His interpretation of the song “You’ll do it again” was both confident and moving.
Not to be outdone, graduates Tayana Spanner, Jennelli Groenhart and Courtney Schmidt combined their vocals in a singing trio for “Trust in you.” Their enthusiasm was as uplifting as was their delivery. “Even one of the stage balloons popped in delight to the magic of their performance,” Jordaan said.
Commissioner of Education Derrick Simmons struck a sympathetic note of wisdom during his address. “There are a lot of things we are told at school to do or not do. Whereas this advice is always for your protection, life is such that you have to be your own judge and make choices for yourselves”
The Commissioner noted that this would not always be easy. “However, these choices will become easier and you will eventually find what makes you great,” he said.
During the showing of a video-8 production created by Ruchemar Redan, each graduate was given 10 seconds of movie fame to explain what they would miss about school and why. Also caught in the producers frame, teacher Tessa briefly defined the difference between regular and irregular English verbs.
The highlight of the video came when graduates were captured on film conducting a spontaneous hug campaign. Not a single adult on the school grounds was left out of this emotional, yet amusing, prank.
As Redan’s camera panned across pupils at work and play, it was clear that the recent renovation of the school has produced a smarter environment for shaping smart pupils.
GvP teacher and Bethel Methodist School board member Vanessa Bennett delivered the keynote speech and urged graduates to use their creative talents to find a wider range of interests and skills.
“Just because you can make great chocolate cakes, that does not mean you should open your own bakery,” she told them plainly. “In the course of higher education, you will discover that there is always something new to learn.”
Methodist School’s Care Team member Tessa Courtar further developed this theme by telling graduates: “You have to be positive in the education walk. Be fruitful to yourself and change the world. Your strengths, passion and patience will keep your dreams alive.”
Courtar then called all graduates on stage to repeat the vow: “not only to turn their dreams into reality, but also and always to remain positive.” With these words, the evening ceremony closed with the song “Dreams,” which the graduates had produced with local singing sensation Gerson Herrera.
The graduation audience was clearly impressed by the style and content of the event. Various community leaders were present, such as Commissioner Charles Woodley and Island Councilman Clyde van Putten.
“I wish them all success for the future, and may they achieve all their goals in higher education. They will all do great and achieve greatness,” Van Putten told The Daily Herald.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67477-thirteen-graduate-from-bethel-methodist-school