Atlantic Caribbean Union

Grand Bahama Academy Celebrates With Graduates

By: Avoney Wellington, Grand Bahama Academy

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Grand Bahama Academy held its annual Grade 6 promotional ceremony on Thursday, June 6, 2013, under the theme “Changing Today to Inspire Tomorrow.” Held at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church, the event was attended by the administrators of the North Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, pastors, and education director, Mrs. Desiree Rolle-Forbes who gave brief remarks.

The guest speaker for the occasion was veteran journalist and former news anchor of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, Mrs. Pakesia Edgecombe, who motivated the graduates to make positive choices as they aspire to be the change agents for tomorrow. She encouraged the students to continue to excel as they contemplate the start of their high school journey. Mrs. Edgecombe also reminded the parents of their responsibilities in helping to guide their children as they continue on the path to success.

The class valedictorian, BoJames VanPopering, gave an inspiring speech as he reminded his classmates that the education they received will eventually create opportunities for tomorrow. He admonished his classmates to never give up on their dreams and reminded them of the promise found in Jeremiah 29: 11 which says that God has a plan for their lives, plans that will prosper them and give them a future.
Arianna Bastian, class salutatorian, did an awesome job in thanking the teachers and parents for guiding them throughout their primary school journey. The nineteen graduates were presented with numerous awards and certificates.

On Sabbath, June 8, 2013, the secondary division of Grand Bahama Academy held its baccalaureate service at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church. The guest speaker was Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. The theme chosen for this senior class event was “With Our Feet on the Ground, We Reach for the Stars.” Pastor Kerr challenged the graduates to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground as they reach for loftier heights.

The climax of the high school’s celebrations was the fifth annual graduation ceremony held at Our Lucaya Convention Center. Guest speaker, Senator Tanisha Tynes, encouraged graduates to keep pressing forward as they enter another chapter of their lives. She related the stories of Ben Carson and Prime Minister Perry Christie who, despite being faced with challenges in their early lives, overcame them and became great leaders in their fields.

The class valedictorian, Hilniqua Gibson, and salutatorian, Shelleta Ferguson, both gave glowing speeches and tributes respectively. The highlight of this ceremony came when the seventeen graduates walked across the stage to collect their diplomas and trophy awards. The valedictorian and student of the year, Hilniqua Gibson, walked away with the majority of the subject awards. We also salute Shelleta Ferguson, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, for her valiant effort.

We commend all the teachers for a job well done and heartily congratulate all the graduates for achieving this educational milestone. We wish them continued success as they make their transition to high school and college. For those students whose journey will take them to different places of work, we pray that God will use them in a mighty way and that they will continue to keep the flames of Grand Bahama Academy burning brightly.