At the school board meeting on Friday, Frank Tench, board member and local weatherman, predicted “hot and rainy” for graduation day, Sunday, June 1. Thank goodness he got it partially wrong. It rained all night Saturday night but only sprinkled a bit on Sunday and the temperature stayed below 90.
We arrived about 1:20 for the 2:00 ceremony and several students were already there. Ms Candi was trying to tie Leroy’s tie while facing him, never a good idea. I boldly volunteered to help, took the tie, tied it on myself and returned it. Leroy and I were ready to go.
Mr Sam, Ms Becky, Jim Burmeister and I busied ourselves for a bit making sure everything was ready while Ms Candi met the students and made sure they were ready as well. Parents arrived bit by bit and by 2:00 the room was full. Pomp and circumstance played on the small cd player and we were underway.
Following the procession we sang the National Anthem, something Dale is going to need to learn right away, and said the national prayer, which is used only on special occasions, this being one of them. Ms Brandyu Frazer gave the invocation (you will hear more about her later) Mr Kinglsey Pinto, the winner of our outstanding academics award, gave the valedictory address followed by Chelsey Garnett presenting the salutatory address.
Becky gave a most kind introduction and I gave my Guest Speaker address. I’m pretty sure it lasted less than the ten minutes Sam had mentioned earlier. The key points of my address were, “It’s not going to be easy, and you will not do it alone, but yes, you can do it.” I mentioned the help available from God and from the people who love you. You can see from the photo how enamored the students were with my speech.
Leroy, with his nice looking tie, thanked the parents, and school staff for their roles in helping the students get this far and then the three awards were presented: Outstanding Academics to Kingsley, Most Improved to Stefan Bowen, and Most Inspirational to Shemar Pattnett. Shemar will be a returning student in the fall, he missed a good bit of the year with H1N1, but that is a whole different story which will need to be told at another time. Following the recognition of awards, the certificates were presented to the students.
Mr Sam gave the principal’s address that included an update of the school year and the announcement that the Barbers will not be returning as Principals in the fall. He also included the information that I will be taking their place, which is close enough for this occasion.
Mr Sam remained at the podium to announce the scholarship winner. Each year the school sponsors one student scholarship to high school. This award is for $800 Bz ($400 US) and is paid to the school that the student will attend. It is renewable for four years, on the condition that the student presents his or her passing grades to the Friends school at the end of each year. This year that student was Brandy Frazer.
The benediction was given by Johanna Reyes, who struggled a bit with her shyness, but did fine once she got started. The recessional was again “Pomp and Circumstance” but took much less time than the processional, as is the case with all graduation ceremonies.
Sam went up to the office immediately after the ceremony to ‘do the paperwork’ with Brandy and her mother for the scholarship while proud moms and dads and aunts and uncles hung around a good while taking pictures.
It was a very good day.
(photos by Ms. Cristy Barber, photographer extrordinaire)