President of the Camperdown Past Students’ Association Florida Chapter, Mr. Allan Cunningham, Vice President, Miss Michelle Cooper, Principal, Mr. Valentine Bailey and his wife, Mrs. Nicole Bailey, specially invited guests, past students – a warm, Camperdown, good evening to you all.
This evening we are here to celebrate our noble institution, Camperdown High School. Camperdown’s mission statement reminds us that our goal is to provide students with the requisite skills and attributes so they may raise their performance and realize their full potential in an environment that delivers the prescribed curriculum, promotes learning, discipline and school community relationships. This environment, continues the mission statement, should also be one in which professional, quality service is provided by staff, thereby facilitating the total development of each individual and contributing to the school community and to nation building.
Our motto, the Latin version of which recites, “Solum Optima Petenda Sunt”, ensures that we strive for the best at all times, as indeed we do believe, “Only the Best is Good Enough”.
Undoubtedly, Camperdown has remained unwaveringly true to both our mission and our motto. Over the years, we have produced a plethora of successful past students – this room of persons is testimony to that – as well as a number of ambitious current students, such as me and my peers. Our graduates have made their marks on varied fields in the society – law, medicine, business, social services, education – proudly playing their role in this monumental task called nation building. Our current students are also leaving an indelible mark on the pages of history. Our most recent CXC results saw our top student claiming an unprecedented nine grade ones – one in Biology, one in Chemistry, one in Geography, one in Human and Social Biology, one in Mathematics, one in History, one in English Language, one in English Literature and one in French. A number of our students were also accepted into the very competitive faculties of Medicine and Law at the University of the West Indies.
How has Camperdown managed to boast so many success stories? How did such a relatively young institution manage to accomplish so much? It’s you! Yes, you! Our successes are most assuredly linked to the remarkably generous efforts of the Florida Chapter of our Alumni Association.
Two years ago, the Chemistry Lab was refurbished into a more sophisticated, ‘I Wantto-Learn’ environment. The welcoming atmosphere motivated previously uninterested students, including me, to do well. Currently, through the unselfish donations of the Florida Chapter, our Physics Lab is undergoing similar changes. Already, the students and teachers are excited about the impending modifications to the Lab. For your liberal contribution, which set the base for this much-needed project, the present Camperdown family says a heart-felt thank you. We are eternally indebted to you. Additionally, I must make mention of the timely donation of computers for our Computer Lab as well as the much-needed sewing machines for the Clothing and Textile Department.
It would be remiss of me to give a speech of gratitude to the Florida Chapter, and not highlight one of your most noteworthy contributions. People are at the heart of any institution and for an educational institution, it’s the students who matter most. Of all the assistance that has come from this direction, it’s the financial assistance to our 3 needy students that has resonated most with our students. Our student population is primarily made up of persons of a poor economic background.
The talents and brilliance of a number of our students have been hampered many a time by an inadequate financial base. Through your dedication to helping our school, you have helped many students remain in school. You have helped many to go on to tertiary studies. You have helped several students claim success when they thought all the odds were stacked against them. Accordingly, for the 32 scholarships that you have handed out this year, we say a million thanks. As a recipient of one such scholarship, I know I represent the entire body of receiving students when I say truly you have played an invaluable and pivotal role in our development.
I would like to end this speech by assuring you that none of your efforts have gone in vain. Keep on doing a good job! We at Camperdown will continue to do our part – holding our banner high! We will continue to reach for the stars, aiming to make our past students proud to be alumni. I can unequivocally state that I am a true Camperdownian, who will continue to set myself apart from the competition by ascribing to the highest standards in all endeavours. As the achiever of nine grade ones in the CXC Examinations of June 2011, the sky is the limit for me. Wearing the badge of Deputy Head girl also gives me immeasurable pride – I trust my fellow Camperdownians will share in the pride when I enter the gates of Harvard! Harvard Medical School – here comes Janelle Walker – boldly Camperdownian!
Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely thank you!