Governor Hosts Ceremony for Valedictorian, Salutatorian Graduates

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. poses for a photo with territory’s valedictorian and salutatorian graduates on July 26 on the steps of Government House.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr, along with Department of Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin and other Department of Education officials, hosted an awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of valedictorian and salutatorian graduates from the territory’s high schools on Friday at Government House on St. Croix.

District Insular Superintendents Stefan Jürgen (St. Thomas-St. John) and Carlos McGregor (St. Croix) both shared words of encouragement with the students in attendance and urged them to continue their love for learning as they move toward their future endeavors.

Berry-Benjamin also encouraged the students to continue learning and charged them with a call to action to take part in transforming education in the Virgin Islands. She also encouraged the students to come back and be part of the solution to prevalent issues in the territory.

“Teaching is not just academics,” said the commissioner. “I want to encourage you to continue to be learners and to know that you can be a part of solving the problems in our community.”

In his remarks at Friday’s ceremony, Gov. Bryan congratulated the students for their hard work and likened their success to the relentless pursuit of excellence.

“You didn’t want to be top ten. You wanted to be number one, and that is relentless,” the governor said. “That is hard work all the time — for every test, you had to do it right, and that is what we are going to try to do in these Virgin Islands, and we need you to do it.”

“You are the people who will be employers. You are the people that are going to reinvent the world. You are the ones who are going to provide energy solutions so that our WAPA rates can go down to two cents per kilowatt hour,” he said.

The students in attendance, representing each of the territory’s public, private and parochial schools, as well as adult continuing education, were awarded a token of appreciation from the governor and invited with their family members to join the governor for a luncheon at the close of Friday’s ceremony.

The students recognized at Friday’s ceremony were:
N’kyla Hughes, St. Joseph High School St. Croix District – Valedictorian
Kayla Williams, St. Joseph Catholic High School St. Croix District -Salutatorian
Isaiah Stevens, Good Hope Country Day School St. Croix District -Valedictorian
David M. Conhoff, Good Hope Country Day School St. Croix District -Salutatorian
Stacy Fredrick, Seventh-day Adventist School St. Croix District -Valedictorian
Mahlana Graham, Seventh-day Adventist School St. Croix District -Salutatorian
Micaya R. Labadie, St. Croix Educational Complex High School St. Croix District – Valedictorian
Mojana Uhuru Tafari Denis, St. Croix Educational Complex High School St. Croix District – Salutatorian
Jayla Norman, St. Croix Central High School St. Croix District – Valedictorian
Giovane Barnes, St. Croix Central High School St. Croix District -Salutatorian
Daisy Sanchez, Adult Continuing Education St. Croix District -Valedictorian
Kenisha A. Henderson, Adult Continuing Education St. Croix District – Salutatorian
Jalia Wheatley, All Saints Cathedral School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Diantha Matthews, All Saints Cathedral School St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Shamir Smith, Seventh-day Adventist School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Deanna Hunt, Seventh-day Adventist School St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Lilliana Martinez, Gifft Hill School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Ethan Popo, Gifft Hill School St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Elliana A. E. Wyllis, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Jahavheed A. George, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School St. Thomas-St. – John District
Salutatorian Jordina Kristal Pierre, Charlotte Amalie High School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Pamela Collin Franco, Charlotte Amalie High School St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Julia Lapomarede, Adult Continuing Education St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Jean Liberny, Adult Continuing Education St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Nichel Daniel, St. Peter and Paul Catholic School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Biton Charles, St. Peter and Paul Catholic School St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Talia Feshbach, Montessori and Peter Gruber International Academy
St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Axel Bartsch, Montessori and Peter Gruber International Academy St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian
Bethany Vazquez Smith, Antilles School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Maggie Huang, Antilles School St. Thomas-St. John District – Valedictorian
Grace Randall, Antilles School St. Thomas-St. John District – Salutatorian

View entire program via Facebook/ View Governor Bryan’s Remarks

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