NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 13, 2021) — Ms. Biblianna Thomas, valedictorian of the Gingerland Secondary School (GSS) Graduating Class of 2021 called on her fellow grandaunds to continue to invest in their professional development, to remain focused and to give back to society.
Ms. Thomas who is currently overseas at university, delivered her valedictory speech virtually, at the school’s 48th Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony at the David Freeman Center of Excellence on December 09, 2021, under the patronage of recently retired teachers Mrs. Vera Jeffers and Ms. Paulette Pemberton.
“Fellow graduates, as we venture into this world of challenges and endless possibilities, I urge you to continuously invest in professional development, whether it may be attending college, moving onwards to university or developing a skillset. Remember, knowledge is power. No one can take away what you have learnt. Pursue your God given talents for we are all talented in our own way.
“Play according to your strengths; this is what leads to success. Do not try to follow your friends’ passion for it will only frustrate you. Do not give up. Remain focused and always have a positive attitude. Surround yourself with people who lift, encourage and support you. Always give back to society whether it is volunteering or being philanthropic, and most of all always remain humble and grateful,” she said.
Ms. Thomas was one of 48 students who wrote the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level and obtained 10 subjects, with nine Grade 1 passes propelling her to be named the school’s most outstanding student.
The GSS Graduating Class of 2021 Valedictorian said her road to achieving the title wasn’t an easy one for her, due to the sacrifices made including: missing new NETFLIX shows, attending classes on weekends and practising countless pass papers.
“All this hard work diminished to one minute where I awaited my CSEC results. It was an exhilarating moment then it vanished for these were only grades,” she said.
It is on that premise that she encouraged her fellow graduands to hold fast to relationships they forged with friends and family.
“The true enjoyment and happiness lies within the relationships fostered during high school. These include the times spent and memories made. Despite chasing good grades, I now recognise the pivotal role of forming and maintaining friendships. This is what we will talk about in the next 40 to 60 years and not the grades we obtained from CSEC.
“For those of us who have put our friends and family on hold for such success it is not too late to reunite or apologise. For those of us who didn’t think we could accomplish it, here you are sitting before me. You have done it, for all it required was discipline, determination and motivation, so keep trying,” she said.
The valedictorian described December 09, 2021, as a day which marked the amalgamation of the hard work of the Graduating Class of 2021, “as we were given this immeasurable weapon which we can utilise to shape an exceptional future.
“Graduands, you will agree that dedication of the staff at Gingerland Secondary has provided us with meaningful and practical knowledge in distinctive fields. This will enable us to be adaptable to challenges of life we will encounter as we continue to pursue our goals and aspirations,” she said.
Ms. Thomas acknowledged her family and expressed gratitude to her mother, grandmother, other members of her family for their unwavering support and prayers, and her classmates who made her time in high school memorable.
On behalf of her fellow classmates, she expressed appreciation to the principal and staff of GSS for their dedication, hard work and patience over the years.
“We know we were not the perfect bunch but we are extremely grateful for all you have done for our development.
“A huge ‘Thank you’ to the Ministry of Education, the Department of Education, parents and sponsors, for all who have worked tirelessly to ensure our time at school was a successful one we say a heartfelt ‘Thank you,’” she said.