Despite a difficult school year, the 2018 graduating class of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) did not disappoint as a number of students still managed to attain impressive grades.
The class consisted of 124 students, five of which received kudos for maintaining an ‘A’ average every term from Grade 7 to Grade 12. This year’s valedictorian is Beyonce Defreitas, and the Salutatorian is Shamika Langford. It was also noted that there were 67 honour roll students, five of which received high honours.
In his greeting to the Class of 2018, Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith noted that the students and the school were extremely affected by the disasters of 2017. He said that he is pleased that the students did not let the hardships and difficulties affect them. The Premier announced, “You have overcome tremendous odds in order to achieve this academic milestone.”
The Premier admonished the graduates to remain focused and determined: “Along life journey you may face storms and challenges the way you face and overcome them will help to build your character.” Hon. Smith said.
Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron Walwyn also showered praises on graduates who should be commended for their drive and zest for education. This determination he said was evident in the fact that they made it victoriously to the end of an immensely difficult school year.
“This academic year was perhaps the most challenging one in the history of this institution…With all the challenges that you faced as well, you came back into the classroom. Some of you would go without comfortable living arrangements and other necessities because you were determined to complete this portion of your education,” the Minister declared.
Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School, Sandy Underhill also celebrated the achievement of the students. She recapped the hurdles the graduates had to overcome to be able to don their caps and gowns and she summed it up saying: “What a year it has been.”
“Our school suffered tremendous loss from the devastation from the hurricane, but you did not let that deter you,” Underhill further noted.
The Principal during her speech also paid tribute to Shadeka Patrick, an Elmore Stoutt High School student who passed away on 26 June. “Let us remember Shadeka’s zest for life, her artistic gifts and her selfless nature as we move forward to take our places in the world,” Underhill said. “Let her legacy inspire us to be our very best.”
In tribute to the student the Principal presented an honorary diploma to Shadeka’s father George Patrick who accepted the diploma on his daughter’s behalf.