A weekend of celebration culminated in the Commencement Exercises for the twenty seniors graduating from Triple C School on Monday, 9 June. The weekend began with an induction into the Alumni Association on Saturday evening (7 June) at the Night of the Arts concert, followed by a Baccalaureate Service on Sunday night (8 June).
At the Baccalaureate Service, Laura McLaughlin, Class of 2003 was the keynote speaker. Ms McLaughlin reminded the graduates that at her 2003 senior farewell ceremony they were the first grade class that presented a book of advice to her class, in keeping with a Triple C tradition.
She said to speak at their graduation was a special treat, especially since her youngest brother was one of the graduates.
Ms McLaughlin gave the graduates three key points to hold close. First, they should remember to pray and talk to God. Second, she encouraged them to make friends, whether they went off island for further education or stayed at home. She encouraged the graduates not to be afraid to open their hearts to new people, and lastly, she, said, they should be strong and not give up.
For the Commencement Service, the Chairman of the Board, Mrs Vanessa Godfrey-Banks, welcomed all the family members, friends, and well-wishers of the graduates at the Church of God (Holiness) Red Bay church. The graduates received their diplomas and certificates from the Hon Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor.
Tamara Tanis, who graduated with a 4.159 average, delivered a very heart-felt Valedictory address. Tamara who spoke about her experience at Triple C and the relationships that she has built with her classmates said, “Knowledge is something not to waste.” She came to embrace this concept through her experiences and relationships with classmates.
Tamara was the subject awards recipient for History, English, Mathematics, Science and Christian Education. Subject awards are given in six disciplines to those students who have the highest average over a four year period. She also received the Outstanding Senior Award, an award that recognises scholarship, leadership, citizenship, loyalty, and peer and teacher rapport and the Ernst & Young award, presented by Chris Gauk of Ernst & Young, for outstanding academic achievement. In addition, she was one of the three students who were presented with the Creative Christian Award by Pastor Alson Ebanks of the Church of God Chapel, George Town. This award is given to students who have accepted the Lord as their personal Savior and who are living out their witness for the Lord both in and out of school. Tamara plans to pursue a career in actuarial science and has already been accepted into the University of North Carolina.
Lorena Morejon, Salutatorian, also gave a speech, taking time to recognise everyone who played a key role in helping her to where she is today. Lorena received the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding leader award presented by Johann Moxam, the Chamber of Commerce President. She was also a recipient of the Outstanding Student Community Service Award along with Cory Hurlston for their work with the Save Our Youth organisation and the High School Visual Arts Achievement Award, sponsored by The National Gallery. Additionally, she was presented with the Triple C School PTA Scholarship Award for extra-curricular excellence along with Lisandra Banks.
In addition to the PTA Scholarship Award Lisandra Banks was presented with the Creative Christian Award and the Myles Music Achievement Award.
Amanda Silva, who received the subject award for Business Studies, was the third recipient of the Creative Christian Award.
In delivering the Commencement address, Mr Manderson reflected on his own journey to where he is today, noting that he did not know what he wanted to do at age 16, but what he did know was that he wanted to make his mother and his country proud.
The deputy governor told the graduates that when he was watching an interview with hip-hop artist and producer Pharrell Williams with Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell reflected on his achievements and said that a lot of people conspired to get him to where he is today.
Mr Manderson said this was also true for him and for the graduates, because each parent, grandparent, teacher, pastor, family member and so many others have helped to bring them to that moment.
Mr Manderson noted that he was promoted nine times before taking his present post. “Many people may be smarter than me, but they can’t work as hard as me,” he said.
Mr Manderson gave three points that the graduates should strive to achieve. First, they should have the desire to be the first person at work and no longer use the excuse that they are running on “Cayman time”.
Second, they should strive to go beyond the work post they are given, and third, they should always be courteous and respectful.
“Hard work and commitment pay off,” the deputy governor stated.
Triple C School is very proud of the Class of 2014 and all that they have accomplished during their time at Triple C. Founded in 1941 as a mission of the Church of God Chapel, Triple C School has a long and distinguished history of academic excellence in the Cayman Islands.