Sixty students said farewell to the Dominica Grammar School on Monday following their five years of secondary education at the institution.
The students were presented with awards for their achievements at the graduation ceremony which was held at the Goodwill Parish Hall.
This year the school produced two valedictorians, Kenny Edwards and Casia Cardette with Yan Gregoire named the 2022 Salutatorian.
Kenny Edwards who is the son of the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon. Kent Edwards, was also named the student of the year.
Edwards said the graduating class had to endure some of the most difficult times during their stint at the Dominica Grammar School.
“Midway September 2021, school began but it wasn’t what we knew a year before. We began online learning and these were very tough times,” Edwards said. “We had to deal with no internet access, connectivity issues, poorly working devices, no devices, shared devices, technological issues, inability to focus on screens for long periods, distractions at home, and isolation. It means that we were away from our friends and the reality of spending our last year of high school online was not pleasant to think of at all. Thankfully as we all know we were able to go back face-to-face and during that time we had to improvise and use our strengths to our own advantage, and so we did.”
“The fact that we are seating here today is testimony of our strengths and determination,” he told his graduating class of 2022.
He also called on his fellow graduates to remain focused and don’t be fearful as they follow their individual passions.
“My fellow graduates, you do not have to be perfect. I am not, I have failed and yes I missed a deadline or two. But as we continue to follow our passions and to pursue what life has ahead of us, let’s not be fearful, don’t be afraid of fear because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger…Grapes must be crushed to make wine, diamonds are formed under pressure, olives are pressed to release oil, and seeds grow in the darkness – class of 2022 whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed or in darkness you are in a powerful place of transformation,” Kenny Edwards told his fellow graduates.
Casia Cadette, the school’s second Valedictorian also impressed upon her fellow graduates that they should not be afraid to make mistakes.
“When you go out into the world I want you to try hard, I want you to swing big, but I want you to fail because it’s through these trials and errors that we learned to become the people we are meant to be. The biggest hindrance to success in this life is to strive for perfection. You’re young, go out and try new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because it’s only then you’ll find the path that you are truly meant to be on.”
“I also want to remind you that you should focus on yourself. The path that you choose will be yours and yours only. The biggest influence on what you decide to be should be your own aspirations and values, not that of anyone else’s,” she said.
Cadette urged her fellow graduates to “put your happiness and success first and always remember who you are.”
“So here’s to the graduating class of 2022 and the bright future that I know we all hold,” Casia Cadette, second Valedictorian of the Dominica Grammar School said.