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Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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19 GRADUATE IN SPRAUVE CLASS OF 2000

Proud moments in the lives of 19 young St. Johnians came Tuesday night at the Westin Resort at the graduation ceremony for the Julius E. Sprauve School Class of 2000.
Parents, teachers, brothers, sisters and grandparents filled the seats in the Westin ballroom to hear Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and other dignitaries admonish the graduating ninth graders about negative peer pressure and the value of direction from their parents and teachers.
"To the parents: This is not the time to desert them," the governor said of the young people. "In many ways, they are going to need you now more than ever."
"To the graduates: Please pay attention to your parents," he added. "They may be strict and stern, but they mean you well."
Sprauve School and Addelita Cancryn Junior High on St. Thomas were among the first schools to hold graduation exercises this year. Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds reportedly skipped the St. John exercise to attend the Cancryn commencement being held at the same time.
The governor said he felt it was important for him to attend the Sprauve School ceremony because its graduates represent the highest education attainable in the St. John school system.
This year's graduating class featured two male students taking top honors as valedictorian and salutatorian.
Salutatorian Oswin Sewer Jr. thanked all of his teachers from kindergarten through the ninth grade and encouraged those classmates who did not complete the requirements for graduation to try again.
Valedictorian Zahur Anthony spoke about the importance of faith in his academic success. "I am grateful to God, who has given me many skills and talents. Without him life can be very complicated," he said.
Seven boys and 12 girls paraded across the ballroom stage to receive their graduation certificates and the congratulations of district schools Supt. Rosalia Payne and Board of Education representative Harry Daniel.
Fourteen of the 19 graduated with honors. But for Principal Shirley Joseph, one of the greatest achievements in the Class of 2000 was that of Inocencia Troncoso.
Inocencia, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, entered the school as a ninth grader last fall, speaking no English. With the help of Sprauve's new bilingual instruction program and the encouragement of her father, Joseph said, the Inocencia kept up with the course work and learned enough English to graduate on time with the rest of her class.
This year's guest speaker, Police detective Sgt. Angelo Hill, graduated from the Sprauve school himself in 1978. He told his listeners that in his school days he was disciplined by some of his male teachers because of misbehavior. But now, as a police detective, he said, he sees the consequences of today's behavior problems among the young. He warned the graduates that these consequences are far more severe than those of his youth.
"It's good to be here tonight and see young people who are not in handcuffs and not covered by white sheets," Hill said somberly. "Earlier today, I had to arrest a 16-year-old who committed armed robbery. He had a gun in his hand instead of a book, and now he's going to pay the price."

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Proud moments in the lives of 19 young St. Johnians came Tuesday night at the Westin Resort at the graduation ceremony for the Julius E. Sprauve School Class of 2000.
Parents, teachers, brothers, sisters and grandparents filled the seats in the Westin ballroom to hear Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and other dignitaries admonish the graduating ninth graders about negative peer pressure and the value of direction from their parents and teachers.
"To the parents: This is not the time to desert them," the governor said of the young people. "In many ways, they are going to need you now more than ever."
"To the graduates: Please pay attention to your parents," he added. "They may be strict and stern, but they mean you well."
Sprauve School and Addelita Cancryn Junior High on St. Thomas were among the first schools to hold graduation exercises this year. Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds reportedly skipped the St. John exercise to attend the Cancryn commencement being held at the same time.
The governor said he felt it was important for him to attend the Sprauve School ceremony because its graduates represent the highest education attainable in the St. John school system.
This year's graduating class featured two male students taking top honors as valedictorian and salutatorian.
Salutatorian Oswin Sewer Jr. thanked all of his teachers from kindergarten through the ninth grade and encouraged those classmates who did not complete the requirements for graduation to try again.
Valedictorian Zahur Anthony spoke about the importance of faith in his academic success. "I am grateful to God, who has given me many skills and talents. Without him life can be very complicated," he said.
Seven boys and 12 girls paraded across the ballroom stage to receive their graduation certificates and the congratulations of district schools Supt. Rosalia Payne and Board of Education representative Harry Daniel.
Fourteen of the 19 graduated with honors. But for Principal Shirley Joseph, one of the greatest achievements in the Class of 2000 was that of Inocencia Troncoso.
Inocencia, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, entered the school as a ninth grader last fall, speaking no English. With the help of Sprauve's new bilingual instruction program and the encouragement of her father, Joseph said, the Inocencia kept up with the course work and learned enough English to graduate on time with the rest of her class.
This year's guest speaker, Police detective Sgt. Angelo Hill, graduated from the Sprauve school himself in 1978. He told his listeners that in his school days he was disciplined by some of his male teachers because of misbehavior. But now, as a police detective, he said, he sees the consequences of today's behavior problems among the young. He warned the graduates that these consequences are far more severe than those of his youth.
"It's good to be here tonight and see young people who are not in handcuffs and not covered by white sheets," Hill said somberly. "Earlier today, I had to arrest a 16-year-old who committed armed robbery. He had a gun in his hand instead of a book, and now he's going to pay the price."