It was a festival of awards and accolades at the graduation and valedictory ceremony of the Class of 2018 of Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Ogun State recently.
The class did not only record excellent results in local and international examinations, it also produced the first and only secondary school students in the country to pass the foundation level of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA). The two students are Charles Uwadia and Cherechi Uruakpa.
Highlighting the achievements of the graduating class, the Principal, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola said: "They gave us an inkling of what to expect by smashing the Standardised Aptitude Test (SAT) in December 2017 and went on to give us the best IGCSE result in the school to date, where some of them made A*s in all the subjects they wrote. The class of 2018 'humiliated' UTME (JAMB) with 10 students scoring above 300, over 75 per cent of them making 250 and above and one of the students scoring the second highest in the country."
In her paper titled 'The Best is in You', she said success is a relative term, which can be applied to measure the quality of the positive change one engenders in the lives one touches and the relationships one builds.
"Titles such as 'teacher', 'doctor' and 'president' are only what they are: mere nomenclature where the holder may add no value to humanity; indeed, it is in the impact you bring to bear does the world find value in the title you hold. This is evidenced in the several ties recorded in the voting for the teacher of the set by the students."
She urged the graduating students to find purpose in the insights they have gained- a veritable arsenal of knowledge with which they must stride to face the challenges of the times.
"I urge you, therefore, worthy ambassadors of a school renowned for excellence, to go forth and blaze forth like stars that light the night. As agents of transformation, be sure to lead lives worthy of emulation and in all your future endeavours be guided by truth. Go and accomplish the extraordinary for only the very best is good enough for you."
"Life is a gift that has been given to you. It is in your hands to make the best out of it- dare to believe that you can. Through the ups and downs, you will find a lesson to learn that will make you a better person. Every experience, good or bad, makes you grow. Get along with life and surely, things will become easier for you."
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was the Chairman of the occasion and the guest speaker, congratulated the graduands for the impressive performance, saying that they achieved success because they persevered.
In his paper titled 'Nothing but the Best in Life', he told them to always bear in mind that the road to success is always under construction.
To be successful even after their secondary education, he advised them to learn to take small steps at a time; surround themselves with good people that will always encourage them; they must know that setbacks will come, but they should turn stumbling blocks to stepping stones; and be good managers of their minds and be focussed.
Ogundipe also advised them to speak positive words concerning their lives; learn to touch people around them and influence people positively; increase their level of exposure and awareness; be dedicated to whatever they are doing; to keep preparing themselves because the journey is far; and above all to be the best they can be so as to fill their lives and the lives of others with happiness.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of academic awards and special prizes to outstanding students. The overall best graduating student and valedictorian was Oluwakorede Akande, who enjoyed scholarship throughout his time at the school for emerging the best in the entrance examination into year seven.
The second best was Stephanie Agana, while the third best was Omobolanle Alashe; to the admiration of their family and friends, the outstanding students were called out many times for their prizes.
The school also honoured two outstanding teachers, Anthony Ilobinso and Ademola Adelekan.