August 21, 2020 | St. John’s, Antigua | Adelle Dublin, Teacher
Jesus once said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). These words are still true, for Sunday, August 16, 2020 would not have been possible were it not for divine intervention. Envision a physical graduation of 40 students, parents, the school board members and staff during a pandemic. Permission was granted by the Ministry of Health for the school’s administration to adhere to the strictest protocols and procedures. At 2pm twenty boys and twenty girls moved to the beat of “Pomp and Circumstance” led by their sergeant-at-arms, Amaya Moore. With mask-clad-faces and sitting six (6) feet apart in the sanctuary of the Newfield Seventh-day Adventist Church was the grade 6 graduating class of the New Bethel SDA Academy (NBA).
The Principal’s report was ably presented by Mrs. Vivian Nicholas. This was followed by greetings from the Honorable E .P. Chet Greene, in which he thanked the teachers and staff for the outstanding work being done. He also congratulated the graduating class on their achievement and encouraged them to use this as a trigger for greater achievements.
In his congratulatory remarks, the president of the South Leeward Conference, Dr. Carson Greene, wished the students God’s blessings and continued success. He further reminded the students that no matter what they achieve in life that they should always remember that their foundation was laid at NBA.
With bated breath these 20 and 20 of the class of 2020 listened as their school board chair, Pastor Sherwin A. E. White, expounded on one section of their theme ‘Our Challenge’. They were admonished that challenges can release originality, creativity and innovation; make one tougher; magnify achievements; and keep one humble and reliant on God.
In his response, Valedictorian, Adrian Brown, recounted the fun times spent at the Academy and implored his fellow graduands to be disciplined, hardworking and committed to excellence. He further reminded them that all obstacles and challenges can be overcome through faith in God and encouraged them to continue “working with Jesus, the Master Teacher.”
After receiving their accolades, vice president of the class, Sabrina Burton, delivered a stirring tribute to the parents while the class president, Keyonah Hughes thanked the teachers and other staff members for the roles that they played in their development.
A group of eight then rendered their variation of the class song letting their fellow graduands know that they would be with them wherever they go. Salutatorian, Nathan Henry, then expressed thanks on behalf of his fellow graduands to everyone who played a role in making the day’s event possible.
To bring the day’s activities to a close, school board member, Daniel Knight, encouraged everyone present to continue to pray for and support the New Bethel SDA Academy and Christian Education on the whole.