The Class of 2018 sings the class song at the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center 23rd Certification Ceremony on June 25 where 112 students received certification in 18 career and technical programs.
L to R: Second Honors student, Lileth Kadine Nethia Grouby and First Honors student, Jinayah J.M. Roberts earned the highest GPAs among their peers at the 23rd Certification Ceremony of the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center on June 25.
One hundred twelve students received certification in 18 career and technical programs at the 23rd Certification Ceremony of the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) on Monday, June 25.
The cheerful ceremony, held in the school's auditorium, was attended by family, friends, school faculty and staff, and education officials. Students Jinayah J.M. Roberts and Lileth Kadine Nethia Grouby received first and second honors, respectively, earning the highest GPAs among their peers.
Following a warm introduction by CTEC Assistant Principal Margaret Burnett, keynote speaker Jendayi Cole, a CTEC graduate and professional in the culinary industry, encouraged students to follow their dreams.
"Life is about to happen and it's about to happen fast," she said. "Don't be afraid to go after your dreams."
Cole added that students shouldn't be “afraid to make mistakes” before sharing a personal story of her early days learning to cook when she accidentally "burned down my mother's kitchen" while attempting to make her first batch of fried chicken. The admission elicited gasps and curious laughter from the audience.
Cole went on to explain that while she was fearful of the punishment she expected to receive from her mother, she was pleasantly surprised by her mother's loving and supportive response, which in turn fueled Cole's passion for the culinary arts.
"We all make mistakes, but it's how you handle those mistakes," Cole concluded.
In remarks to certificate recipients, who are all members of the 2018 graduating classes of St. Croix Educational Complex High School (SCEC) and St. Croix Central High School, Superintendent Colleen Williams stressed the importance of graduates returning to the Virgin Islands after pursuing educational or career opportunities off-island.
"I look forward to your successes," she said.
The SCEC band played a prominent role in the ceremony, providing accompaniment for Linda Sweeney's renditions of the National Anthem and the Virgin Islands March. The group also performed Latin mega hit, "Despacito," as well as the ceremony's processional and recessional.
Faculty member Bruce Phaire served as master of ceremonies, CTEC Principal Myrl P.T. Hendricks awarded students their certificates and CTEC Assistant Principal Cheryl Jeremiah-Ambrose gave closing remarks. St. Croix Deputy Superintendents Vaughn Hewitt and Faith Dane George-Boone attended the ceremony.