Fifteen Sprauve School Gulls Fly Towards the Future

Fifteen eighth graders from the Julius E. Sprauve School were the honored guests at the school’s 51st graduation exercise held June 22 at St. Ursula’s Church (photo by Judi Shimel)

ENIGHED — Educators, friends and family packed the seats at St. Ursula’s Anglican Church to celebrate the graduation of 15 eighth grade students from the Julius E. Sprauve School. Sprauve School is St. John’s only public school and the only school in the public school system where students progress from kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Principal Marion Esannason encouraged the graduates to remember their manners and to resist the urge to speed through the rest of their childhood on their way to the future. They also heard from the two top achievers of the Class of 2017. Second Honor Student Jayni Blackwood and First Honor Student Arria Walsh offered brief but thoughtful remarks. Then it was time for each graduate to walk to the podium and accept their certificates.

St. John Administrator Camille Paris Jr., Senator-At-Large Brian Smith and Senator Tregenza Roach joined the gathering, as well as Jenai Provost, representing Insular Superintendent Dionne Wells-Hedrington. James Provost, a retired science teacher from Sprauve School, attended the graduation in his new capacity as a member of the Board of Education.

The principal told the students to keep achieving. “I ask you to take this chance to make next year even better,” Esannason said.

The JESS Class of 2017 included Abigail Alfred, Jayni Backwood, Cierra Denis-Chinnery, Jairo Deogracia Santana, Alexis Doway, Ariana George, Gus Haywood, K’Lah Jacobs, Ashyria Kelly-Joseph, Cassandra Lettsome, Catisha Marsh, David Marsh, Liv Peltier, Kaleah Thomas and Arria Walsh.

Twelve of the fifteen graduates are also honor students.

Industrial Arts teacher Kurt Marsh Jr. and Business Counselor Dara Battiste officiated the June 22 ceremony. The Julius E. Sprauve School Gulls band performed “You are the Wind Beneath My Wings” under the direction of Steven Payne.

The new graduates are expected to enter the 9th grade at either Ivanna Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas or Gifft Hill School on St. John.