Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College toasts students’ excellence
Desiree Rankine, a year-two biology and mathematics student with a 4.12-grade point average (GPA), and Kardine Dunkley, a first-year student whose GPA of 3.904 was the highest among the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) students, were the star performers among the more than 200 students recently awarded for excellence in higher education at the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College (SSTC) in St James.
Principal Dr Lorna Gow-Morrison said that the virtual ceremony was necessary to celebrate the students who have persevered despite the challenges, including uncertainties triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Commitment to growth through education has resulted in students exploring their educational journeys through remote learning and exploration of the virtual landscape,” said Gow-Morrison. “This commitment was also enabling all parties to learn together, learn from each other and empower each other to overcome challenges and grow.”
While Dunkley, who is pursuing a diploma in shipping and logistics, and Rankine were the undisputed stars in terms of GPA, it was the all-round performances that had Chairman Norman Reid oozing with pride in acknowledging that the students had not only adjusted to the new COVID-19 norm but had managed to excel.
“Even as I commend and congratulate you, I ask that you do not see Sam Sharpe as that small pond but that you commence thinking of those bigger awards and accolades that await you,” said Reid, in challenging the recipients of prizes and awards to continue to excel.
Motivational speaker Professor Emeritus Sylvester ‘Jim’ Bowie of the Department of Social Work at the State University in Sacramento, United States, praised the college for its long-standing commitment to churning out high-quality students.
Bowie, a member of SSTC’s Class of 1978, said the college was the breeding ground for ideas.
He referenced several world achievers to illustrate that perseverance manifested itself in excellence, commending the students for their perseverance.
“The things you learned up at the top of the hill in Granville will stay with you for life, as it has with me in the 39 years since I graduated from the college on the hill,” said Bowie, who is also president of National California Association of Social Workers. “So, I want to encourage you to ensure that the three words ‘Service, Commitment, and Excellence’ be the ideas and ideals that you take with you wherever you go and let the theme of today’s event be your guiding principles for the vast expanse that is laid before you.”
Bowie gave a special award to Tara-Gay Heaven, a student who has been excelling in the field of sports, as he implored the awardees to continue to strive for excellence regardless of their circumstances.