19 students graduate from Sundial School – Arrindell: “nothing beats a second chance”POSTED: 06/28/13 11:52 AM
St. Maarten – The second time around proved to be charm and also taught a valuable life lesson for a young man who edged out his classmates for the coveted top slot in examinations after failing the first time around. Hospitality student Kevin Arrindell was awarded top honors for his focus, hard work and success at the Sundial School 2013 Invocation Ceremony. Nineteen students graduated from the institution on Wednesday night in a small ceremony at the Philipsburg Cultural Centre. Arrindell was lauded as an outstanding student with a bright future ahead.
His mentor, Wendell Moore spoke fondly of the lanky, suave young man who has made his family, Sandy Ground community and his school proud.
“I am extremely privileged to have played a little role in the life of the one who was selected as this year’s valedictorian. I saw something in this kid and I let him know that he is on the right path,” Moore said.
When it came time for Arrindell to make his valedictory address, he had to be assured by Moore that it was his time to shine.
In an emotionally charged speech filled with all of life’s realities, Arrindell frontally addressed his audience.
“This isn’t my first time in fourth form. I was there last year and should have graduated with the 2012 class. But I wasn’t that serious; I hung around, played around and harassed other students and teachers. I wasn’t paying attention to school at all. When I started to pull up myself, it was too late. I failed my exam and it was the worst feeling ever. My other family members passed their exam; while they were celebrating I was feeling a bit down. So I went back to school with one thing on my mind; to finish. It turned out to be one of the greatest years in Sundial. When they told me I passed, it was the greatest feeling of my life. Especially when I told my mother and watched tears streaming down her face,” Arrindell explained.
Having been at the end of two extreme; success and failure, the young man offered some words of wisdom to his colleagues.
“I want to thank everyone who pushed me. I want to say that nothing beats a second chance in life, you can always try again if you fail,” he said to thunderous applause.
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs Patricia Lourens-Philip also attended the ceremony that was themed “Our Future Leaders of Tomorrow.”
“You have come to the end of part of your educational journey. Graduation is a time of joy, time of celebration and new beginning. Despite struggles and challenges along the way, each of you have done what you needed to do in order to meet here. You have all accomplished something that can never be taken away from you. Your persistence has paid off. Each one of you is a leader in his or her own right.
When you step out of these doors this evening you will be going in the direction that you want to go. Whatever choice you make, I want you to know that the future belongs to those who prepare,” she told the graduating class.
The Education Minister also commended the school’s faculty.
“For those who played a role in the success of these students you have performed admirably. It is time to commend each and every one of you for your hardwork, commitment and true team spirit for making these students well on their way as a result of today. They are well on their way to fulfilling purpose.”
Remarks were also delivered by the school’s general director Wim de Visser, Barbara Pompier, president of SVOBE and former student Lyndon Lewis.
Graduating were Jeanella Andrew, Faith Constant, Radisha Dollison, Shanda Groenveldt, Patricia James, Moripha Hodge, Sharissa Pantophlet, Eugenie Remilia, Julie San Alexandre, Daniella Jean, Jahmicah Jeffers, Cindy Brandy, Daylon Cornelious, Daniel Peterson, Stacy Simmons, Daniel Edwards, Alanzo Fraser and Thaimi Montero.
“Thank you for enduring this four year molding process. Your journey of education continues be it in a formal setting or a non-formal setting but you are more than likely will be remolded again as you become leaders of tomorrow. One of the trickiest parts of this molding process is now watching you leave the confines of Sundial and now take new and different paths. We always hope and pray that we did all we can to equip you for the next phase of your journey,” director Mireille Regales-Peterson said.
Standing at the helm of the school, Regales-Peterson highlighted the fact that many educators often give up on students easily.
“You will all agree that we do not know which of you will be the most outstanding leaders of the future but I would not have wanted us to repeat the same mistakes of people that taught Thomas Edison when his teacher said that Thomas Edison was considered a “dull student” and was thought to be extremely disruptive in class and so on many occasion he was asked to leave. One teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. Only to realize at age 10 he would set up a lab in his basement and was already starting to work one experiment and inventions. So we did our best to mold you and know it’s for each of you to make the best of every opportunity that will be provided to you here after,” she added.
The organizing committee for graduation 2013 thanked all those who had contributed to making the event a success.
“Without your contribution this could not have materialized. We look forward to your continued support and dedication in the future. To the businesses and families of the graduates that made donations, our heart-felt thank you for everything you gave to us,” the committee stated.