“Congratulations, Zawie,” one commenter wrote on Cedar International School’s live broadcast of the senior graduation ceremony on June 25. “U made yr family proud. U jst end one journey but U hve to continue on yr dreams ahead.”
Cedar was the first secondary school to celebrate graduation this season, which will include a mix of virtual and limited in-person events recognising the achievements of the territory’s young scholars despite the challenges this school year presented.
CIS Head of Secondary Zach Pascoe said he initially wasn’t certain the event would happen, but he was pleased to welcome everyone.
“This year has been unlike any other year, ever, really,” he said. “It has been challenging and difficult in so many respects, but it’s also been really inspiring to be part of in so many ways.”
He commended students for adapting to online learning and still achieving their goals. Mr. Pascoe acknowledged that this certainly wasn’t the year a 12th grader would expect.
“But amidst these challenging circumstances, I do want you to know that there is plenty of reason for hope,” he said. “With all this, you are strong and resilient like no other class. You are the class of 2020, and we are very proud of you.”
St. George’s Secondary
St. George’s Secondary School broadcast its graduation from St. George’s Episcopal Church on July 10. Most attendees sported green robes and caps, as well as face masks, as they were greeted by organ music.
“We have come to the end of a very long road,” said principal Dana Ambrose, speaking from behind a plastic shield. “When one is moving forward, they need to acknowledge each step that is taken as they go down that journey.”
Ms. Ambrose said she wants students to see the future as a transition onward rather than an ending. She urged graduates to be life-long learners based on their education at St. George’s and left the class with one parting piece of wisdom.
“We always rationalise life as winning or losing or failing,” Ms. Ambrose said. “We should not look at life in such a finite set of terms. Some of you may be ahead of the others. It does not mean you are not all walking the same journey. … I want each of you to know the fact that you are here means you have transformed, and you have developed.”
She encouraged the young adults to recognise opportunities for personal growth as they take the time to reflect and celebrate together.
“We are all rooting for you, and you have all done us proud,” she concluded.
More graduation celebrations under various Covid-19 restrictions are upcoming (see sidebar). Gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed under the government guidelines, as long as attendance doesn’t exceed one person per 64 square feet.
Graduation and exit ceremonies are by invitation only. Guardians should contact their children’s schools for details.
- 3 p.m. Friday, Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies, New Testament Church of God International Worship Centre
- 2 p.m. Tuesday, Bregado Flax Educational Centre Secondary Division, Virgin Gorda Catholic Community Centre (virtual)
- 10 a.m. July 30, Claudia Creque Educational Centre, school campus
- 4 p.m. July 30, Elmore Stoutt High School, BVI Government Facebook Live
- 3 p.m. Aug. 9, BVI Seventh-Day Adventist Secondary School, school auditorium