Forty-two (42) students graduated from the Goodwill Secondary School on Wednesday.
Of that number; one graduated with honors, four with merit, twenty-seven with passes and there were ten others.
The theme of the graduation, held at the St. Alphonsus Parish Hall in Goodwill, was ‘Overcoming Adversity, Striving For Success’.
Stevenson Saintus, the only student who graduated with honors, was named Valedictorian.
He obtained the School Spirit Award, Regularity/Punctuality Award, Academic Excellence Award, Conduct and Deportment Award, Leadership Award, Valedictorian Award and Kentish House Award.
“I feel great honor and pride today as valedictorian of the graduating class of 2018, “ Saintus said.
Saintus also received subject prizes for English A, Principles of Accounts, Mathematics, Principles of Business, Human and Family Life Education, Integrated Science, Geography, French, Technical Drawing, Basketball, and a Class prize for Form 501.
He told the graduating class, the journey may have seemed long “but we are here full of excitement and eager to take the next step”.
While Hurricane Maria attempted to replace their joys with doubt and despair, Saintus said they overcame the challenges and succeeded.
One of the major challenges faced, he revealed, was occupying the Dominica Grammar School. “Even more difficult was the fact that we now had to attend school in the afternoons, after getting used to attending in the morning for all these years”.
The major setback with this shift, he added, was the reduced time per subject “which meant more work had to be done at home in darkness”.
“In addition to this many have lost their homes, books, internet access, clothing, and completed assignments. This led to greater frustration among us students,” Saintus revealed.
Nevertheless, he said the graduation theme, ‘Overcoming Adversity, Striving For Success’, highlights their strength and character.
In an effort to make for loss time, the principal introduced morning sessions which lengthened the school day from 8pm to 5pm.
“Again, this was not easy but the question still remained, would we allow this to break us, were we about to let these challenges prevent us from reaching our goals,” he questioned.
“The answer was, and still, is a resounding no, for we were very aware of the huge task ahead of us and nothing would prevent us from reaching our goals. Being here today to celebrate this milestone further proves that the sacrifice was worth it,” Saintus stated.
Marcella Green, who graduated with merit and was named Salutatorian, obtained subject prizes for Agricultural Science, Physical Education and Theatre Arts and a class prize for Form 501.
She was also presented with the Dance Award, Prefect Award, New Dimension Theatre Award (most outstanding in performing arts), Randy Abraham Award (school spirit), Student of the Year Award, Salutatory Award and Kentish House Award.
Taina Rolle, another merit graduate, obtained subject prizes for Human & Social Biology, Social Studies, and Garment Manufacturing Office Administration. She was presented with the Doctrove House Award, and Class Prize for form 502.
Kathlyn Green and and Shenica Walsh were the other two merit graduates.