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Scholars, Athletes Across St. Croix Saluted

May 29, 2009 — The Virgin Islands National Guard honored students from schools all over St. Croix for scholarship and athletic achievements Friday evening at a gala red carpet affair at Teddy’s in the Sion Farm Shopping Center.
The annual Salute to Academic and Athletic Excellence Awards ceremony is presented to congratulate Virgin Islands high school academic scholars and athletes for a job well done. The principal of each school, in consultation with a National Guard representative, puts together a list of the school’s exemplary students and athletes. On Thursday, students were honored for academics, and on Friday, it was students who excel in athletics and scholarship, as well as exemplary vocational education scholars.
"We want to recognize all of the hard work you children have put in, academically, athletically and vocationally," said Staff Sgt. Genevieve Liburd. "Vocational students tend not to get as much recognition as academic students, but what you do is very important. … My friend's husband is a successful electrician, and because of the demand for his skills they are doing fantastic. We are very proud of your accomplishments."
Adjutant General for the Virgin Islands Renaldo Rivera said he was an athlete himself as a child.
"No one beat me in the track in 9th grade," Rivera said, prompting smiles from some young athletes in the front row.
"This is the beginning of you career," he said, on a more serious note. "If someone picks you up as an athlete to go to college, go for the max. Work hard, pay attention, get your degree, get your master's and come back home. We need you here."
The St. Croix Central High Jr. ROTC Color Guard and drill team performed in honor of the gathered students, before and after Rivera presented each with an award and a certificate.
The program began in 2006 as the brainchild of Lt. Col. Edward Richards, who, along with others in the schools and the Guard, wanted to publicize and reward the many hard-working students who don’t get as much attention as they should.
“We hear a lot about fights or whatever bad news in the schools, and not enough about the good folks doing well, not just the valedictorian and salutatorian at graduation,” Richards said at the time.
The V.I. National Guard’s Salute to Academic and Scholastic Excellence takes place throughout the territory with approximately 400 students being honored this year; 141 on St. Croix and 261 in the St. Thomas-St. John District. Seven schools are participating on St. Croix and three from St. Thomas-St. John.
“This program has grown over the past three years,” said Lt. Colonel Kai Schjang, Commander of the Recruiting and Retention Command, in the V.I. National Guard's public invitation to the ceremonies. “As a fellow sportsman, I am extremely proud to share in this event. It is an evening when the National Guard celebrates scholars and athletes for their hard work throughout the years.”
Some of the participating schools on St. Croix included: the Seventh Day Adventist Schools, St. Croix Central High School, the Manor School, Freewill Baptist High School, Kingshill School, West Indies Heritage School, St. Croix Educational Complex and St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center and Good Hope.
St. Thomas students will receive honors June 2 and 3 at Frenchman’s Reef Resort.
The following St. Croix students received awards:
Scholastic Award for Athletes
–Shamyra Vanterpool;
— Shamica Thomas;
— Raibin Quiterio;
— Chammalee Ellidge;
— Risheema Burke;
— Zameeka Allen;
— Maquisha James;
— Michael Flemiing;
— Shakeel Newton;
— Terrance Jones;
— Michael Pemberton;
— Valante McFarlande;
— Carlos DeCastro;
— Leima Lake;
— Jose Alicea;
— Esau Brooks;
— Lamar Bough;
— Dorian Euzebe;
— Angelo Galiber;
— Dillon Olsen;
— Meriano Jacobs;
— Jahdel Jules;
— Sasha Evans;
— Quentin Grogan;
— Ariel Aaron;
— Charles Moorehead;
— Gisele Schjang;
— Kyle Sylvester;
— Tahyna Jules;
— Natalia Felix;
— Kimani Smith;
— Malcolm Edwards;
— Zahra Jackson – two awards;
— Jared Lake;
— Shenique Jeremiah;
— Macdonald Taylor;
— Jacob Trask;
Vocational Scholar Award
— Alejandria Peguero;
— Tracy Castillo;
— Tasha Jones;
— Travis Sydney;
— Jelany Hodge;
— Rodney French;
— Jordon Brodhurst;
— Trent Hector;
— Kareem Ferdinand;
— Sonia Lopez;
— Nardjeska Serrant;
— Victor Mohansingh;
— Christopher Peters

Academic Scholar Award
— Shamyra Vanterpool;
— Sara Herrera- with two awards;
— Ken Barry;
— Antonios Doliotis;
— Nicole Foster;
— Akima George;
— Kia Griffith;
— Cherea Scotland;
— Wael Aduljaber;
— Timothy Radley;
— Felicia Emmanuel;
— Amanda Caperton;
— Vanessa Allahar;
— Thomas Radley;
— Sudesh Sookrai;
— Sarah Sinanan;
— Victoria Figueroa;
— Angel Le Grand;
— Wilma Joseph;
— Christy Reyes;
— Dana-Leigh Charles;
— JoAnn Thomas-Lewis;
— Zakiya Jacobs;
— Anisha Thomas;
— Ashley Florent;
— Trishelle Ekpe;
— Chinaemere Igwebuike;
— Kara Spencer;
— Sheena Tonge;
— Peter Mathias;
— Ryan T. Stewart;
— Dale Donowa;
— Ebony Watts;
— Godwyn DeFreitas;
— Roxanne Grey;
— Jonique George;
— Raedyance Nicks;
— Shanah Bannis;
— Duvante Vegas;
— Angeles Cruz;
— Kwame Garcia;
— Shenelle Sendar;
— Julisa Marcel;
— Gerhard Steven Jr.;
— Carina Felix;
— Claudine Lacdao;
— Nicholas Henry Jr.;
— Shelsa Marcel;
— Krystel C. Newton;
— Michelle D. Adams;
— Raibin Quiterio;
— Alexandra Rodriguez;
— Yomar Batista;
— Alejandria Peguero;
— Ginette Rawlins;
— Elaine Rezende.
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