Brimmer Vale High School sent off 41 students on Tuesday, June 28 in an enthralling school leaving ceremony. The event was held on the school grounds under the theme ‘The light, the miracle, that shinning light, that’s you!’
The ceremony was almost like a concert, filled with pageantry, music and wholesome entertainment that left the audience rocking, laughing and cheering.
The master of ceremonies was reverend Donald Williams, who ensured that the programme flowed smoothly. Greetings came from chairman of the board of management, Alrick Reid and Denise Williams, assistant to member of parliament for Western St Mary, Robert Montague, who was absent. Both congratulated the graduates on their success.
Esther Tyson, who is the representative of the iLead programme, gave credit to the school’s principal, Evorine Henry-Tracey and the “forward thinking teachers” for their role in helping to transform Brimmer Vale High School.
“I remember being here in 2011 and now this school is a completely different school… This school is going places,” she explained, while lauding the graduates for their achievements.
The success stories for the St Mary based institution were evident in the report of the school’s principal, Mrs Henry-Tracey.
She revealed that in the 2014-2015 CSEC results subjects such as home economics management, E.D.P.M., physical education, food and nutrition, agricultural science, office administration and principles of business received an 80 -100 percent pass.
Ten students were successful in passing both English and Mathematics, while one student passed ten and another nine subjects respectively.
“I am proud to announce that head of the student council, Bently Walker in grade nine did and passed three subjects, all with distinctions, after being rooted up and being planted here. He is flourishing in the Brimmer Vale High garden. He is a true testimony that you can grow where you are planted. You can flourish at Brimmer Vale High School just as long as you have discipline-star, which refer to our core values – discipline, success, teamwork, accountability and respect,” Mrs Henry-Tracey explained.
Other successes for the institution came in areas such as music and sports.
The principal also thanked several sponsors and supporters that assisted the school throughout the academic year. These included JPS, the Forestry Department, Sean Wellington at L.P. Martin Funeral Home, iLead, Food for the Poor, the Jamaica Yes Foundation and others.
“Brimmer Vale High is on an upward path. We have no intention of turning back,” boasted Mrs Henry-Tracey.
She congratulated the graduating class of 2016 and explained that they played a major part of her growth as they were in grade eight when she first arrived at the school.
“You do not know how proud I am of you. You learnt how to walk, how to sit like ladies-girls, how to speak. Brimmer Vale High has taught you well to go into the world and shine your light,” she said.
At the end of her report, Mrs Henry-Tracey recognized several past chairmen and house patrons with plaques for their contribution to the building of the institution.
The house patrons recognized were: Norma Creary, Valric Lawrence, Lincoln Wright and Roy Davidson. The past board chairs recognized were: Norma Creary, Michael Lawton Veroneeth McKenzie and Rev. Father Charles Manderson.
Guest speaker at the graduation ceremony, attorney Kevon Johnson, urged the male graduates not to become a statistic of the prison system as he said it was “fashionable for to have young men appearing in court.” In the same breath, he urged the females to not become pregnant at an early age, because it forces them to have delayed gratification and success.
“Never let anyone silence you about your story… Make sure your impact on the world is great,” Mr Johnson urged the graduates.
Valedictorians, Delandrea Cole and Nichole Hamilton were emotional as they reflected on their journey at Brimmer Vale High as they expressed their gratitude to their teachers and parents.
Interspersed among the long speeches, there were thrilling performances that included: a group dance by Grade 11 students to the song ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna; the school choir’s performance of Katy Perry’s ‘Fire Works’; a dance duet of ‘Burn’ by graduates Lloyd Smith and Dontay Miller and the graduates’ song ‘Let It Shine.’
These performances sent the audience of parents, guardians and well-wishers into a frenzy.
The awards section of the school leaving ceremony saw Kemoy Smykle walking away with the prestigious Robert Montague Trophy for top student at the Brimmer Vale High School. She also received a top student trophy from the school and an award for being most disciplined. Smykle has been on the honour roll since grade eight.