Twenty-three Eighth Graders Honored at JESS Promotional Ceremony


Eighth graders from the Julius E. Sprauve School accept the praise of family, friends and educators on Tuesday, June 17, during promotional exercises held at the school.

CRUZ BAY – Twenty-three students from the Julius E. Sprauve School celebrated their pending transition to high school at promotional exercises held June 17 in the Sprauve School cafetorium.

The student heard words of encouragement and caution from JESS Principal Dionne Wells. A gathering of parents, teachers and well wishers cheered their accomplishment as ten top performing students received gifts and other forms of recognition.

“Set goals for yourelf. Make sure your goals are meaningful. You must take ownership of your own learning,” Wells said.

There was also special praise for one member of the JESS Class of 2014 who emerged as a top student, having entered the school several years ago, speaking no English.

Salutatorian Daniela Melo-Cedana, the JESS 2nd Honor Student, thanked all the teachers who encouraged her to never give up as she grew academically strong. Melo-Cedena credited her achievements to hard work and dedication.

“If we use these, we will meet again in a similar place, but in 2018,” she said.

Soft-spoken 1st Honor Student Joel Williams said he too was grateful for his progress.

“For me, it’s a huge privilege to be here with my fellow classmates to receive a promotional certificate. It proves hard work pay off,” Williams said.

Most of the graduating class will attend the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School as freshmen in the fall.  Wells and other education administrators informed the students about the increasing demands of high school; the increasing workload they will have to keep up with, which will require them to adjust.

The principal asked parents of the promotees to continue supporting their children’s education.

Assistant Superintendent Michael Harrigan presented two top JESS students with new learning tools in recognition of the hard work they had already put in. Williams, as the Class of 2014 top science student and Neisha Somersall, as the 2014 top math student, were given new tablet computers, equipped with features to help them do their homework.

The computers were provided by Southern Trust, LLP., where Virgin Islands First Lady Cecile de Jongh serves as general manager.

“The overall mission of these gifts from Southern Trust is to give the high achieving students something they can use for a long time to come,” Harrigan said.