Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Class of 2014 Ivanna Eudora Kean High School graduates 187
Published: June 16, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - The hillside stingray was lit bright enough to be seen from space in honor of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School's 41st commencement ceremony Saturday night at the school's Digna Marie Wheatley Gymnasium.
Amid the enthusiastic standing room only crowd, the school's 187 graduates marched down the isle and through a JROTC color guard to an energetic, foot-tapping rendition of Pomp and Circumstance played by the IEKHS Concert Band.
Collectively, the Class of 2014 has already earned nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and awards and school principal Sharon Ann McCollum predicts they will top that amount by next week.
"This is an amazing class," she said. "They are ready to take on the world, and I think they are going to make the positive changes that our territory needs."
To their surprise, valedictorian Jamaal Al-Ameen and salutatorian Kheana Fahie became best friends, supporting each other through the challenges of their senior year.
Both agreed their biggest hurdle was advanced placement calculus, but with the help of thier teacher, and each other, they made it through.
Looking back, some of those challenges were instrumental in building character.
"What I will remember most is the JROTC program," said Al-Ameen. "I built a lot of relationships and friendships, and I've grown a lot from that."
Al-Ameen will go on to study software engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology. He received a $166,760 ROTC scholarship and after graduation, he will be commissioned as an Army officer and hopes to work with computer networks or cyber security.
"I look forward to being exposed to a different environment altogether," Al-Ameen said. "And without my parents around, I'm looking forward to seeing if I am as responsible as I believe I am."
Fahie is eager to begin studying biology at Western Carolina University. Her ultimate goal is to become a surgeon.
She is the winner of the Hebrew Congregation's Martin Luther King Award.
"I like new adventures and challenges and being ambitious," she said. "I can see the end of my goal and I can't wait to get there."
In their commencement speeches, both concentrated on giving thanks to the family, friends, teachers and classmates who have given them the support they needed to succeed.
"I have never met another set of students so focused and strong," Fahie said, "and, I would like to thank you all for not only making my senior year memorable but for giving me the treasures that I can take with me for a lifetime to come."
In parting, Al-Ameen had these words of advice for his fellow graduates: "The life ahead of us won't be easy; it will be what you make it. Remember who you are. Remember what you have to offer. Remember Kean. Live long and prosper, Class of 2014."
Total number of graduates: 186
Valedictorian: Jamaal Al-Ameen
Salutatorian: Kheana Fahie
Number going to college: 108
Some of the colleges attending: Barry University, Bethune Cookman University, Cedar Crest College, Chowan University, Florida Institute of Technology, Iona College, Jacksonville University, Johnson & Wales University, King's College, LaRoche College, Lycoming College, New English College, Norwich University, Nova Southeastern University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Old Dominion University, Rider University, Robert Morris University, Siena College, St. John's University, St. Thomas University, Stevenson University, Stillman College, University of Tampa, University of the Virgin Islands, York College of Pennsylvania.
Number going to trade school: 24
Number going to military: 16
Number going to work: 38
Total scholarships received: $5.5 million