By Eulana Weekes
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Under the patronage of the Governor-General of St Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Sir. S. W. Tapley Seaton, the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) hosted its 33rd Commencement Ceremony. It was held on Tuesday, March 15.
Dean of the Division of Teacher Education, Dr. Joycelyn Archibald-Pennyfeather announced the names of 21 newly graduated teachers who fulfilled the requirements for the Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education, the Associate Degree in Primary Education, the Associate Degree in regular and T-vet Education, and the Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. The most outstanding student in the Teacher Education Division was Nevisian Janiecia Powell.
“Janiecia Powell- Janiecia graduates with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. She graduates Summa Cum laude. She also receives the Dulcie Richardson Award for the student who performed the best in in the Associate Degree in Teacher Education; the Early Childhood Unit Award for best performance in the Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education; she receives as well the W Ferdinand and Cynthia M Dore Award to the best student in the Division of Teacher Education; the Joshua Obadiah Williams Award for the best student in Teacher Education; and she receives the Government of St Kitts and Nevis’ Award- the scholarship for the Most outstanding student in the Division of Teacher Education.”
Powell was selected to speak on behalf of the CFBC Class of 2021 where she lauded her fellow graduates on an overall tremendous performance despite the challenges they faced.
“It is and will always be a privilege, I dare say, to be part of this prestigious and premier institution of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC); an institution where caterpillars are turned into butterflies. This familiar and beautiful metaphor surely stirs memories of how we were able to push beyond our limits and transcend every barrier to success, but life has a funny way of surprising us, and the biggest surprise today is to discover that I have been chosen as your representative – this illustrious Class of 2021. Thank you and congratulations; we did it together. Congratulations again to the four outstanding scholars from the other divisions. You have done extremely well and my best wishes go out to you.”
She added, “Moreover, as I look at you dressed in your graduation colours I have to conclude that success is prettier, now at the end, especially when compared to the darker shades of experiences we’ve been through.”
Powell shared fond memories of her personal journey to success and reminisced on their experiences collectively.
“When I signed up for the Teacher Education programme, I was embarking on an interesting journey of discovery. I was also signing up for another journey across The Narrows that I frequently took between Queen City, Nevis, and Sugar City, St Kitts; which was sometimes smooth and sometimes choppy, very much like my educational journey. Like you, I experienced the sea-saw of satisfying joy versus grey moments of doubts, frustration with the growing number of assignments, tests, the increasing pressures of studies, deadlines, and so forth, so fifth and so sixth, ad infinitum.”
She continued, “There were times when I remembered asking myself, “when will the torment end?” and I am sure you have too. Surely, we will always remember that as we were looking and longing for the end of every class, COVID-19 swooped in like a night and saved us all from physical classes. It was a new day for most of us who were happy to transfer to online classes. We will remember lying in bed without the lecturers knowing and blaming the internet when we did not want to participate in class. Indeed, we will also remember the new challenges of online learning, but we will never forget how we persevered, fought, and conquered; and guess what- we made it! I said, “We made it!”
Other than the Division of Teacher Education, several young men and women graduated with varying degrees, certificates, and diplomas from the Division of Health Sciences, the Division of Art, Sciences and General Studies, as well as the Division of Technical and Vocational Education and Management Studies which includes the areas of Agricultural Studies, Architecture Design Technology, Electrical, and Electronics Engineering, Culinary Arts Associate Degree, Culinary Arts Certificate, Hospitality Studies- Associate Degree, Hospitality Studies Certificate, Information Technology, Automotive Engineering, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning, Office Administration and Management Studies and Timber Vocation.
CFBC Lecturer and host for the ceremony, Mrs. Sheila Hanley described the graduating class as “unique” and applauded them for beating the odds and completing their mission.
“Class of 2021, in the pantheon of CFBC graduating classes, you are unique. You are the first to complete studies in the midst of a global pandemic. You are the first to graduate in March. You are the first to graduate virtually. These firsts demanded intestinal fortitude and attest to the medal of your character, and we the faculty and staff of CFBC applaud you and laud your well-deserved accomplishments. You have done the CFBC and the Federation proud.”