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‘Class of resilience’ graduates from CedarBridge Academy

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The CedarBridge Academy Class of 2021 salutatorian Bobby Johnson marks graduation at National Stadium in Devonshire (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
CedarBridge Academy Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The “class of resilience” at CedarBridge Academy set out for the next chapter in their lives after an emotional 2021 graduation ceremony at the National Stadium yesterday.

Principal Kenneth Caesar told the gathering of parents, faculty and 91 graduates: “This is bittersweet for me.

“Truth be told, these are amazing young people I really do not want to let go – the class of 2021 is truly the essence of CedarBridge.”

Mr Caesar hailed the graduates as “leaders, innovators, futurist thinkers and pioneers”.

He added: “For the past two years, the world has been hit by an experience many of us would see once in a lifetime. The pandemic has hit each and every one of us on many levels that I can’t describe.

“Getting here today was hard. It was a challenge. Yet we made it.”

Mr Caesar noted that the students, like others across the island, had “transitioned in and out of buildings several times” as lockdown came and went.

He congratulated the 79 students graduating with their Bermuda School Diploma; nine with alternative school diplomas, two with functional skills certificates, and one with a Penn Foster high school certificate. For photos, click here

One graduate also garnered an Associate’s Degree from the Bermuda College, while three others graduated with certificates in applied technology.

Mr Caesar paid tribute to the 13 who made “the bold move of participating in dual enrollment programmes at Bermuda College”: Susanna Guerreiro, Jamin Fubler, Nhoaa Powell, Tiazhe Trott, Deontae Armstrong, Al-Shae Landy, Sahnia Bell, Yasmeen Codrington-Edmead, Shomori Fox, D’Jae Gilbert, Bryan Hayward-Smith, Xan-Jae Minks Savery, and Richard Mitchell-Minors.

He congratulated Susanna, Shomori, Bryan and Richard for graduating from the college in May.

Dequan Trott told the ceremony: “Today I speak as your valedictorian and a proud member of this honourable class.

“Each of us have embarked on this journey as individuals – but over the last four years we have become a family.”

He told his classmates: “Go out into the world and make a difference. Show the world we are indeed Bermuda’s finest.”

Graduates heard from Jason Wade, chairman of the school’s board of governors, who said: “Your strength and determination will take you far.

“As you leave the halls of CedarBridge Academy, I challenge you to carry excellence with you. No matter where your life takes you, be excellent. Continue to show your strength and show the world how brilliant, outstanding and excellent you are.”

The day’s guest speaker was Thoshlae Williams, alumna of CedarBridge’s class of 2011, a realtor with Rego Sotheby’s and co-founder of Elevate Host Services.

Calling the past year “a roller-coaster”, she said: “Class of 2021, you did it.

“I am sure you didn’t picture finishing senior year in a pandemic. You are the class of resilience.”

The crowd applauded for students who had become the first in their families to graduate from high school, and to head on to college and university.

Telling them she too had been the first in her immediate family to graduate from high school and university, Ms Williams added: “You are leaders.”

“Use your education to enhance the lives of those you love and care about.

“Not only are you trailblazing a new path for yourself, you are continuing to build off the foundation that your teachers and family have helped to build during your time here.”

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Published July 01, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated July 01, 2021 at 7:57 am)

‘Class of resilience’ graduates from CedarBridge Academy

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