The following is a press release from the Ministry of Education:
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, October 2020. — On Saturday, October 4, a host of family members, friends and other well-wishers gathered at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre to be a part of Layman E. Scott High School’s graduation ceremony.
The graduation, which was held under the theme, ‘Rising above the Ashes’, was a bittersweet occasion as it not only highlighted the accomplishments of the 18 graduates but paid homage to Ashlee Walton, a member of the graduating class who succumbed to illness a few weeks earlier.
Education Minister Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly used the opportunity to provide the graduates with sound advice while reflecting on the significance of the graduation’s theme, which was selected by the late Ashlee Walton. “The message she [Ashlee] wanted to leave in ‘rising above the ashes’ tells us that for you to be an ash, you had to go through the fire, you had to be tested, you had to be tried and now tonight is your time to rise above those ashes. This will not be your only challenge. You will face other challenges, but you must rise above it and continue to rise until you have taken your last breath,” Minister O’Connor-Connolly asserted.
Immediately after the Minister O’Connor-Connolly’s presentation, the Layman Scott High School’s choir delivered a stirring tribute to Ashlee in song.
In his address to the graduates, Acting Principal Devon Bowen charged them not to be burdened by the challenges they currently face but instead to continue to work hard and persevere. “The same creativity, imagination, passion and drive that got you to this moment will continue to sustain you through whatever situation and circumstances you will face in the future,” he declared.
Class valedictorian Kiara Brown and salutatorian Thomas Sevik Jr. were awarded for their outstanding academic achievement. They were among three students graduating with high honours, having achieved passes in nine or more subject areas including English and math. They were also among the six students that received multiple awards during the ceremony.
Guest speaker, Human Resource Executive and Layman Scott alumna, Melody Martin called on graduates to create their own definition of success, reflect on their purpose and to keep their purpose at the forefront of their future decisions.
The vote of thanks given by Eddie Martin helped to round out the evening’s proceedings.