St. Thomas-St. John Seventh-day Adventist School graduates 12

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ST. THOMAS - Twelve bright and eager graduates made their way to the stage amid throngs of beaming family, friends and alumni at the St. Thomas-St. John Seventh-day Adventist School commencement ceremony, held in the Bertha B. Boschulte Middle School gymnasium Sunday morning.

Principal Whitman Browne, along with the faculty, strove to prepare the graduates for life beyond high school.

"We've been working with the students on our changing world and being prepared for 21st century learning, using technology and critical thinking and learning how to learn independently," he said. "I hope they are prepared for their next step. Education is a journey through life. There are challenges like any journey. The better the foundation you've got, the better prepared you are for life."

Valedictorian Carishma Marsh has already started her college studies as an early admissions student at the University of the Virgin Islands.

Her biggest challenge this year, was juggling high school, college and a part time job.

Marsh is working towards a double major in psychology and accounting and hopes to give back to the Virgin Islands community.

"I want to help improve the businesses of the Virgin Islands and hopefully spread the industry beyond tourism," Marsh said.

For salutatorian Kamira Webster, a career in medicine has always been her dream. She will enter the nursing program at UVI and hopes to become a midwife.

"I've just always been inclined to help people. I've always had that drive," Webster said. "I worked on first aid in Pathfinders and I was in a shadowing program. That made me decide on midwifery. I'm prepared for college and have my friends and family for support."

Despite the hard work, both graduates have fond recollections of their senior year.

For Marsh, spending time with her classmates during their senior class trip to Orlando, Fla., and Atlantis in the Bahamas were her favorite memories.

For Kamira, it was participating in the Shakespeare Festival.

In her valedictorian speech, Marsh took the opportunity to thank all of those who helped throughout her school years, especially her parents and teachers.

"I have learned so much beyond what books could teach," she said.

To her classmates, she added, "My class, even though I didn't get to spend much time with you guys this past year, you'll always have a piece of my heart."

"I've been at SDA all my life and everyone at the school has played a part in making me who I am," Webster said. As she concluded, she gave her classmates some parting advice.

"Put God first in your life. Pursue what is most dear to you. Pursue that in which you feel you can make a difference," she said.

"This is a super talented class. I believe they have been gifted by God with all they need for success. They simply need to use it," said school pastor Glendon G. Cross.

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