Ministerial Statement by The Hon. R. Wayne Scott:
The 2015/16 Public School academic year ended on Friday, June 24th for our students. I take this opportunity to thank the school Boards, administrations, teachers, support staff, volunteers, parents, guardians, and students for their commitment and efforts during this academic year.
Across the breadth of the public school system, despite tremendous challenges, there are countless and significantly positive results of academic achievement.
As Minister of this most important Ministry, I remain committed to supporting the Government’s commitment of fostering a public school system that will have our children and young adults fulfill their professional and personal goals and contribute to the fabric and future destiny of our Island home, Bermuda. I remain committed to a sentiment articulated by Eleanor Roosevelt who stated that; “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” I will commit to speak life over our children as they are all destined for greatness as we nurture them.
Mr. Speaker, Members of this Honorable House and Listening Audience:
Our students are making tremendous strides in their academic performance and achievements. This year our graduating students received certificates, awards, scholarships and recognition for their continued perseverance and commitment to excellence during their high school years. These included the awarding of Bermuda School Diplomas; IGCSE’s and Certificates of Achievements.
I will highlight a few results of student achievements and awards presented during the graduation activities held at The Berkeley Institute on June 27th and CedarBridge Academy on June 28th.
Let me first start with the Berkeley Institute’s 2016 graduation class.
One hundred and ten students received their Bermuda School Diploma (BSD). Of this total, 84% also received the Berkeley School Certificate which signifies a GPA of 2.25 or higher. Additionally, the Berkeley School introduced for the first time a Berkeley Honours programme of which twenty students successfully achieved the required standard of obtaining grades A* to C on their IGCSE Cambridge Exams, as well as maintaining a GPA of 3.0 and higher. Students awarded Advanced Honours in this programme achieved the Honours level plus they completed Bermuda College credits or AP level courses. Thus, these students were awarded annotations of summa, magna or cum laude on their certificates.
There were four students at the Berkeley School who achieved top Advanced Honours:
- Dejanee Hill Edwards achieved six IGCSE’s in addition to 67 college credits for her Associates Degree, and a Bermuda School Diploma - GPA of 4.06;
- Kyrsten Burrows obtained six IGCSEs in addition to 66 college credits for his Associates Degree, and a Bermuda School Diploma - GPA of 4.14. Kyrsten is this year’s outstanding male teen for academic achievement and also this year’s recipient of the XL Catlin Scholarship;
- Imani Smith achieved five IGCSE’s and will complete her Associates Degree in Insurance with the Bermuda Insurance Institute in July of this year. She received a Bermuda School Diploma - GPA of 3.68; and,
- Kimika Jackson obtained five IGCSE’s in addition to 50 college credits, and a Bermuda School Diploma - GPA of 3.86.
These four Advanced Honours students have been accepted in overseas universities. In fact, 88 percent of the entire 2016 graduating class at the Berkeley School will be attending either the Bermuda College in the Fall, or a four-year university abroad to study disciplines such as law, marine biology, medicine, actuarial science, accounting and quantitative risk and insurance. Well done to our Berkeley Institute graduates and Congratulations to the entire Berkeley family.
I will move on to CedarBridge Academy’s 2016 graduation class.
A total of 84 students earned their Bermuda School Diploma with a further 22 students eligible to earn their Diplomas following the 2016 CedarBridge Summer Programme. Additionally, there were 26 students who graduated from the CedarBridge with GPA’s of 3.0 and higher. Before I provide details about CedarBridge, Mr. Speaker, I noted that roughly 40 percent of our total graduates from both senior schools were males. Good things are happening with our male students.
The five top students at the CedarBridge Academy were:
- Taiyanna Allen who earned 5 IGCSE’s; the Bermuda School Diploma with Distinction - a GPA of 3.99; and an Associate’s Degree in Science (Actuarial Science) from Bermuda College. She is also the recipient of the HSBC Joseph Johnson Scholarship 2016. She will pursue studies in actuarial science at Georgia State University in the fall.
- Tamara Jackson earned 5 IGCSE‘s; Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level English; and the Bermuda School Diploma with Distinction - a GPA of 4.09. Tamara graduated one year early. Further, she has already earned one year's credits towards an associate’s degree (accounting) from Bermuda College which she will complete in May 2017.
- Donnauri Robinson achieved 7 IGCSE’s and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level English. She graduated one year early with the Bermuda School Diploma with Honours - a GPA of 3.42. Donnauri will continue her studies at Bermuda College in the Fall.
- Evan Heyliger obtained 8 IGCSE’s and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level English. He earned the Bermuda School Diploma (BSD) with a GPA of 3.11. He graduated one year early and was selected as a Rotary Exchange Student with a placement in Argentina.
- Sophia Hamilton earned 4 IGCSE's; the Bermuda School Diploma with Honours - GPA of 3.74; and, her Associates Degree from the Bermuda College. She achieved the Outstanding Teen Award for Spiritual Leadership and will be attending University in Australia in the Fall.
On a side note, I was encouraged to hear that there were five students at the CedarBridge Academy who committed extra effort into their studies and graduated with a Bermuda School Diploma within three years or a year earlier. In addition to that, all five students graduated with a GPA above 3.0.
Of the entire 2016 graduating class at CedarBridge Academy, inclusive of attending the Bermuda College, more than half have already received college acceptance letters from twenty different universities and colleges in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Our students have demonstrated persistence, perseverance and passion in their studies. Congratulations!
You may recall me sharing with this Honourable House last year that the Bermuda College had introduced the Dual Enrolment Programme allowing qualified public high school students to enroll in college-level courses, which upon successful completion the students earn academic college credit while still attending their respective high school.
Four of our public school senior students who graduated from the Berkeley Institute and the CedarBridge Academy participated in the Dual Enrolment Programme at the Bermuda College. This week they received their high school diploma having already obtained an Associate Degree from the Bermuda College in May 2016. These students are the first to achieve this in Bermuda history. Well done to these four senior students!
Lastly, I must mention that some of our students have decided not to pursue their academic goals immediately but have planned a gap year before commencing overseas studies. They have instead decided to dedicate themselves to engaging in missionary work, travel with ‘Up With People’ and participate in the Rotary Exchange Programme in Peru and Argentina. I commend these students for taking time to pursue these interests which will help to propel them even further in their educational growth.
There is so much more that I have to share, and I will make a point to keep the public and this House updated on our student achievements. I am very much encouraged by the accomplishments and successes our public school senior students have experienced. I extend a sincere thank you to all the teaching staff, support and administrative staff at our two public senior schools under the competent leadership of Principal Kalmar Richards and Dr. Phyllis Curtis-Tweed. I can emphatically state that our students are destined for greatness; and Bermuda’s future and destiny is looking bright.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker!