The 21st of May was no ordinary Saturday afternoon for all of us at OWIS. It was a time of nostalgia, joy and immense pride as members of the OWIS community congregated to celebrate the graduation of our Grade 12 IB DP learners.
For everyone who attended, including the families of our students and the staff, the event presented an abundance of sentimental moments. Through the photography exhibit of their school lives, the students and their families enjoyed revisiting old memories and felt a sense of accomplishment on how far they have come. The school choir and orchestra wove their magic on the audience. The tongue-in-cheek “Superlatives” awards, which got our graduating students voting quickly on the spot, elicited much laughter and showed the camaraderie between this cohort.
In his welcome speech, Mr Mark Renie, Head of School, acknowledged the challenges to learning that the pandemic wrought. “Dear students, you are a story of resilience and I don’t want you to forget that. We are all humbled by the determination you’ve shown in the face of adversity. And now that you are set to embark on the next chapter of your life, remember the challenges you overcame to get here. Remember that you are a powerful example of the resilience of humans and humanity,” he said. He encouraged the graduands to carry forward the OWIS values of diversity, international mindedness and kindness in their lives and make a difference in their communities. He also thanked the teachers for all of their hard work, guidance and emotional support that helped the students in their learning journeys.
The highlights of the event were the presentation of the graduation certificates, the traditional hat toss and the recorded messages of well-wishers of the students and their thank you speeches. There were smiles and hugs all around after.
A big thank you to the Graduation Committee, which comprised our staff and Grade 11 IB DP students, for the fabulous send-off for these shining stars of OWIS.
We’re incredibly proud of you, Batch of 2022, and we wish you every success in whatever you take up next.
In the words of Mr Emmanuel Mouquet, who was the chief guest at the event, “Dream big, follow your heart, and remember that every simple step also makes a difference.”