by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Mahira Hanley returned an average of 99.1 % to cop the title Valedictorian of the Charlestown Primary School 2023.
Mahira, having lost her father Mr. Stephen Hanley less than two months after she entered Kindergarten, displayed the true meaning of perseverance. During her Valedictory Speech, Mahirah recalled the early stage of primary school, which was one of the most difficult periods of her life.
“For most of us, our journey began in Kindergarten with Teacher Spellen and Teacher Smith. We spent a good two weeks crying our eyes out as we adjusted to this new life. It was even more so of a challenge for me when I lost my father shortly after embarking on this journey.”
She acknowledged the role of her mother Dionne Hanley, her uncle Marvin Hanley and other family members along with all the teachers and auxiliary staff in ensuring her success.
“I would like to thank God for his blessing on my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without Him. To my mother Mrs. Dionne Hanley, please stand. I would like to say a special thank you for your guidance, inspiration and unwavering support. I really could not have done it without you. A special thanks is wished to my family, especially uncle Marvin for always being there for me.”
The valedictorian specially recognised Ms. Leanissa Thomas, her grade three teacher. She was moved to tears as she told the audience about Teacher Thomas’ continued support and sacrifices, despite the students’ transition to other grades.
To the graduating class, she encouraged them to “Chase your dreams. Never stop learning. Give it nothing but your best.”
Mahira received the Principal’s Award, Parents Award, Premier’s Award, Her Honour Hyleta Liburd Award, Top Girl Award, Hon Joseph Parry Award, Jeson Leblanc Science Award, William Ferdinand Dore Award, Curvis Scarborough Award, LEFCO Award, Shelisa Martin Clarke Science Award, Charlestown Primary Excellence Stride Award, Nevis Teachers Union Award, Admirable Behaviour Award, Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Award and also awards for Best overall average in Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies.
The theme for the graduation was “Inspiring Success and Recognising Excellence, as we Rise, Strive and Persevere to the End.”