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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, June 22, 2024


June 8, 2003 – With a history of emphasis on tradition, 2003 marked a year of endings and of new beginnings for Antilles School, as hundreds of family members and friends gathered for Friday's commencement celebration.
Held for the first time in the Mark C. Marin Sports Center, the commencement also was the first for new headmaster Arthur Scott. He presented the 43 students — the school's largest graduating class ever — for "this special rite of passage which stresses the idea of the power of communion, the opportunity for change, and the power of re-invention."
To the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance," the seniors completed a lap around the floor before taking their places on stage, where Jay Buckley, head of the Upper School, made opening remarks.
There followed comments by Scott and by Vernique Callwood, president of the school's National Honor Society chapter, and a rousing rendition of the national anthem sung by Gala Garcia, a member of the Class of 2003.
Co-salutatorians Lane Sell and Dennis Jones presented a balanced mix of sentiment and perspective as they addressed their classmates about taking their next steps into the "real world" while also relating many personal anecdotes.
"The lessons I've learned from my fellow graduates are as useful as those learned from my teachers," Jones said. In a similar vein, valedictorian Nikki Tyler said: "The friendships I've acquired at Antilles are incredible, and totally unbreakable."
Commencement speaker Drew Brown III, owner-operator of Coldstone Creamery on St. Thomas and a pilot for Federal Express, focused on the importance for young people of hard work and education. He offered as an equation: "Education plus hard work minus drugs equals success and the American dream."
However, Brown added, success does not necessarily equate to money. "You see people out there, like teachers, who don't make a lot of money." he said, "But that's all right, because they do something that money doesn't buy … They help people."
Brown encouraged the graduates to pursue their dreams, and closed by telling them to remember that "there is no black and white … There is only ignorance and intelligence."
Senior Class president Simone Barry in her farewell address asked her peers, "How did we do it?" And then she answered: "By learning from our mistakes and supporting each other when we succeeded."
All 43 graduates have been accepted into colleges and universities in order to further their education.

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