One hundred-and-seventy-eight students graduated from the Elmore Stoutt High School on Thursday, 25 June. The ceremony was held at the Multipurpose Sports Complex, and marked the end of the Fifth Form title.
In his address to the class of 2015, Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn noted that the next graduation will be in 2017. In explaining the reason for no graduation in 2016, Hon. Walwyn pointed out: “I will like to tell the public that because of our change to the K-12 model there will be no graduation ceremony next year.”
The Minister also mentioned that this year there were 45 students on the honour list and three high honour students.
Acting Principal, Mrs. Sandy Underhill explained that the Class of 2015 would be the final fifth form of the Elmore Stoutt High School: “This is a historical graduation ceremony. It is the last using the title fifth form…This class of 2015 will go down in history as the last fifth form class of the ESHS and that is worth mentioning.”
The Acting Principal encouraged the students to further their studies, give back to the community and adopt a service-above-self attitude: “With everything that you do, remember spirituality should be your foundation, belief and faith in God and humanity. Never believe that you are bigger than others, this attitude will only slow down your progress and growth,” she said.
Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith told the graduates: “You are not here by chance you are here by determination. In fact, your determination is a testimony that you understand the value of education in this highly competitive world.”
CEO of the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Ms. Joy Francis took a creative approach in the delivery of her keynote address. Ms. Francis – a member of the class of 1995 – said that after her class’ nomination she pondered on how she could try to make the graduation exercise more memorable: “I prayed about it and I received this answer — let the graduates hear themselves when they listen to you.”
In this stead, the keynote speaker provided an insight into the aspirations of some of the graduates and shared the views of others. She explained that she was inspired by members of the class as she met with them prior to the graduation: “Sometime, a speaker is challenged to inspire an audience, and in turn that audience turns out to be the greatest source of inspiration. I set out to conduct a few informal interviews with a cross section of the class of 2015 in line with this year’s graduation theme which is — beyond ordinary uniquely changing our world. I appreciated the students candid responses and willingness to speak with me,” Ms. Francis stated.
The Valedictorian was Ms. Creightanya Brewley and Salutatorian Mr. Rhevaughn Sprauve.