I had expected to go to Friends worship at 8:30 am and remain at the Presbyterian church for Presbyterian worship, then decorating for graduation, then the ceremony and finally the cleanup. It all started as planned.
However, it had rained hard overnight and in the early morning and was still raining at 8:30 am. We had Quaker Worship at 8:30 but the Presbyterians called off worship because of the flooding of many streets so all 9 of us Quakers went to Spoonaz to eat breakfast. That was a relaxing and fun respite before we began decorating at about 12:30.
We completed the decorating at about 1:30 and the two teachers hustled out to change clothes. Students began arriving at around 2:15. I began to panic a little at 2:30 because several students had come but the teacher’s were not back yet. But very shortly both teachers had returned. It was then that one of the students mentioned his speech and we discovered that Ms Darcel had left that stuff at home in a flolder. So she quickly borrowed the car and went after it.
Meanwhile, at 2:55 we were still missing 3 students. Ms Darcel returned just after three and we talked about what to do if those three didn’t make it. However, 5 minutes later when we were ready to process, those three arrived in the nick of time. Really, we were already marching in when Aloveen arrived.
We began with the singing of the Belize national anthem, followed by the national prayer, and then our own invocation.
The students recited the 23rd Psalm and sang a song.
We had the traditional addresses by the salutatorian, Aliyah, on the left, and the valedictorian, Primilee.
Joyce Ellis, Director of Mental Health Institute and former teacher, was our commencement speaker with the catchy theme: “If you have a brain in your head and shoes on your feet, you can go anywhere.” She spoke well.
We presented high school scholarships to thee students. We have divided the money so that we can help more than one student. Miss Aliyah earned the large scholarship; Jervis and Omarian earned the smaller scholarships.
We had two students from the youth hostel who also graduated but had gotten in trouble and were unable to attend the ceremony. We graduated 13. Two of them will be attending ITVET, 3 (possibly 4) will attend Global Outreach, a trade school, 3 will be attending San Pedro High School, 1 to Gwen Liz HS, 1 to ACC. Our valedictorian is on a waiting list at St Catherines and is mulling over her other choices.
I’ve gotten to know these students and wish them the very best. We make a big deal out of our offer for any of them to return after school hours to get extra tutoring from us. I hope they will take up the offer. Not only can we be helpful to them but it will be nice to see them again.
God bless ’em all.