When we started the 2019-2020 school year, we had many school trips, guest speakers, sporting events and transition events planned to the grand finale of graduation.
This school year will be one that we remember; not only for the abrupt shift to a virtual learning environment due to COVID-19, but to the profound sense of community that we embraced through all the changes that have been happening around us. The Saltus Community quickly adapted to our ‘new normal’ and found innovative and creative ways to ensure that all our students from FY to SGY 2 could still receive an education and participate in their milestone events.
The Director of Senior School and Deputy Head (Student Life) have been working diligently with a team from many facets of the school, to ensure that our graduating seniors could have their Graduation this year. Working through various scenarios that changed according to the Government imposed phases of re-opening in Bermuda; they were happy to have obtained Government permission to hold a modified graduation event.
On Wednesday, 17 June 2020, graduates and their (immediate) families were able to attend graduation at Alumni Hall located on the Saltus main campus on St. John’s Road. As individual family groups, they joined James Anthony, Director of Senior School to receive the graduate’s diploma and any awards or prizes bestowed upon the student. Mr. Anthony was assisted by Nicole Chichon, Deputy Head (Student Life); Jon Beard, Deputy Head; and Erica McArthur, Teacher of History (SGY2 Coordinator).
On Friday, 19 June 2020, the Class of 2020 along with family and friends around the world have also been invited to participate in a virtual graduation ceremony where the graduates will be addressed by Deryn Lavell, Head of School and R. Gil Tucker, Chair of the Board of Trustees, James Anthony, Director of Senior School and Nicole Chichon, Deputy Head (Student Life).
The keynote address will be provided by Honoured Guest Speaker Alexander Green, Member of the Board of Trustees. It was our Head Boy and Head Girl, Ryan and Eleanor, who took the initiative to write to Alexander and invite him to speak, as they knew from a previous meeting with him, that he would have a lot to share with our graduating class.
“Not only have you successfully completed the extremely challenging Saltus programme, but in this final year, one that is stressful under any circumstances, you’ve managed to do that in the midst of a global pandemic” Mr. Green told the graduates.
Mr. Green encouraged them to “remember how strong, resourceful and determined you have been. Let this experience strengthen your confidence. Let it be evidence that you have what it takes to tackle tough challenges, catch those curve balls, and stay focused on your goals.”
Mr. Green continued by sharing that “If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that the unpredictable will always have its way. Life is full of unforeseen events – big and small – things you can’t see coming that will change the game for you. The trick is…how you deal with them.”
Mr. Green ended with saying to the graduates that “I believe that each and every one of you is special, strong and capable. I believe that Saltus has given you the foundation so that each and every one of you will do this school, your families and Bermuda very proud.”
Director of Senior School, James Anthony, reflected on seeing the graduating class develop “into a group with a strong bond which welcomes all comers and celebrates their differences and unique personalities.”
He shared that it “has been an absolute pleasure and I know that, if you continue to fulfil your true potential, Bermuda and the wider world will be in good hands.”
Subject prizes were received by: Shane Steinhoff (Accounting); Robin Stempel (AP Capstone, English Language and Sports Science); Julianne Oatley (Art and Physical Geography); Isabella Murdoch (Art); Scott Gilbertson (Biology); Keiran Malott (Chemistry, Physics and Economics); Ross Cooper (Computer Science); Christian Truran (Design Technology); Charlie Gravestock (Design Technology and Photography); Jackson Burns (Economics, English Language and History); Kennedy Durfy (English Literature, Psychology and Sociology); Shane Krueger (French and Spanish); Ritz Wong (Human Geography and History); Ryan Topple (Mathematics, Philosophy&Ethics and Psychology); Sean Brodie (Mathematics); Eleanor Dunleavy (Oceanography); Ilidio Francisco (Performing Arts) and Victor Capitillo (Spanish).
The 2020 Saltus Graduate named as Valedictorian was Scott Gilbertson, who has been with Saltus from the age of 6. Scott will be attending Queen’s University.
Special thanks to Ally and Mark Tatem (Two&Quarter), Alex Masters ’01 and Lara Smith (LDS Multimedia) as well as the Saltus Team for a successful graduation.
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