Atlantic Caribbean Union

Cayman Academy Continues its Upward Growth Trend

Cayman Academy Continues its Upward Growth Trend

By Patricia Ebanks, Communication Director; Cayman Islands Conference


Last weekend (Saturday, 25 June) 18 students graduated from Cayman Academy, up from last year’s eleven, with forecasts of a 26-member final year class in 2017. The commencement exercise took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

With a waiting list of 112, more than a third of its current enrolment of 328, the school announced a summer building programme that will result in two new classrooms to accommodate an additional class each for Grades 1 and 7. Also announced were expanded offerings in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) programme, and a fall 2016 launch of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) for post Grade 12 students.

The academic achievements of the school’s students were on display during the graduation ceremony, with ten of the eleven students of the Class of 2015 recognized as “honour students.” The ten qualified for this achievement by passing eight or more subjects in the CSEC examinations at grades 1 to 3. One student, Chamelle Williams, passed eleven subjects.

Indeed, quality education was a recurring theme at the 2016 Cayman Academy graduation ceremony, with Board Chair Shion O’Connor announcing the introduction of an Academic Quality Control Committee to monitor curriculum and instruction for the 2016/17 academic year.

Responding to this announcement, Minister of Education, the Hon. Tara Rivers, who brought greetings at Saturday’s graduation exercise, said that this “well aligned” the school with new legislation aimed at ensuring quality in the delivery of educational services in all schools.

But the stars for the evening were this year’s 18-member class, headed by Valedictorian Matthew Harvey, who copped award after award for academic and social achievements.

Indeed, the values imbued by the school during their years at the institution were reflected in the parting words of Valedictorian, who encouraged his fellow graduates to exercise care in every decision they made: “Our lives are like streams and so our futures are determined by every decision we make, whether great or small.”

He ended with advising classmates to “…excel at whatever you do by putting God first. In that way, you will continue to carry the torch high for the world to see that your alma mater has prepared you well. Make good decisions and allow God to guide you as you do so.”

Meanwhile, Salutatorian Edwards reminded her fellow graduates that “regardless of what the situation is or where the issue lies, one may not necessarily always be able to immediately resolve the problem.”

In those cases, she said, “Instead of becoming frustrated and worried over what we cannot control, be the change you wish to see through your actions, and encourage others to follow your example.”

Miss Edwards reminded her classmates to always give their “best shot” in whatever they strive to do. She advised also that when “people try to close the door on you … just grab that handled and pull or push --- do whatever it takes to open that door.”

Keynote speaker for the evening, Mr. Roy Bodden, president of the University College of the Cayman Islands, reflected in his address to the graduates, as well, an emphasis on moral virtue. He spoke to the importance of upholding and reinforcing moral virtue across all sectors of the society, especially in the family, which bears the primary responsibility, he said, noting: “If the family continues to decline, then the society will decline.”

Mr. Bodden exhorted the graduates to demonstrate moral virtue by being true to themselves, and to work to transmit these values to future generations so that they will be even better.

In the process of supporting student achievements across the board, Board Chair O’Connor said that the school would be establishing a scholarship offie to facilitate access by students to all available scholarships on offer in Cayman and elsewhere.