Eight Mile Rock High School (EMRHS) is celebrating its Annual Pride month throughout February.
On Monday, February 12, the 172 year-old-school held a special ceremony in the school gym, where its 500-plus students, administrators and teachers gathered to celebrate.
District Superintendent for West Grand Bahama, Bimini and the Cays, Ivan Butler presented the school’s principal, Chester Cooper, with two plaques in recognition of the school’s academic excellence.
With first place for most improved performance in Government Schools in the 2018 BGCSE examination (Category B) and second place for most improved performance in Government Schools in the 2018 BJC examinations (Category A), Butler left encouraging words for the school champs.
“You must have appreciation. You must have appreciation for this institution and what it brings to not only the island, but the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“This institution is one of the oldest and has a rich history, so you should be very proud to be a Blue Jay,” said Butler, former EMRHS principal.
“Representation,” he added. “Too many times we think that other schools are better than we are down here, but you want to represent your school in all that you say and do.
“You represent your school in the way you conduct yourself, the way you wear your uniform with pride, the way you understand by keeping your campus clean, because that’s a part of everybody’s duty.
“You represent your school by cheering no matter what competition they are in … you want to represent your school.”
Butler continued, “I bid all of you to take pride in representing your school and representing your school pride, representing your school mates, representing yourself in the community and in our Bahamas.
“Finally, the most important reason why we are here to celebrate school pride, is for you to take advantage of your education here at Eight Mile Rock High School.
“In this day and age, there should be no reason for any student to leave school empty handed. We have vocational programmes and academic programmes.”
The District Superintendent added, “If you graduate or don’t graduate, learn a trade. You have an excellent construction teacher, excellent welding teacher, excellent air condition and computer teacher. Take advantage of these vocational careers.
“No child should be leaving Eight Mile Rock High School empty handed,” he stated.
Proud of the accomplishment, Cooper noted, “Eight Mile Rock has a tradition of producing some of the finest citizens of this country.
“Our school continues this tradition of producing outstanding students and at the end we have taken on several additions this school year. Blue Jay pride is being proud of whatever it is that comes out of Eight Mile Rock High school,” said Cooper.
“This month we are going to highlight our students through sports and academics. Nothing brings out pride more than healthy competition. So, this month, one of our biggest focuses will be healthy competition.
“We have our academic aptitude programme, most recently we just launched our Blue Jay Programme, we have had our Drug Trade Seminar for our Grade 12 students and of course, we have had seminars that were spearheaded by the Guidance Counselor Programme.
“We are doing our part,” he continued. “Thanks to our wonderful teachers, because they come here every day and they give it their all.
“Our various clubs like GGYA, Defense Force Rangers, Interact amongst others clubs, have all helped mold and assisted students to develop social and academic skills.”
Cooper shared with the students a few ways to show Blue Jay pride.
“It starts with simple things like wearing your uniform properly, choosing the right attitude and not letting other students put your school down, because this is your school.
“School pride has a major role in any school environment … academics and sports, but of course, it begins with all of us. Every student and every staff member of this school, must have Blue Jay pride.
“We have had about 107 students that were on the honour roll last term. So, we try to work hard to show our students that we appreciate them and we want them to work harder,” added the principal.
“It is an amazing feeling to see my scholars succeeding. It means that the work that the staff members and teachers are doing is paying off.
“In addition to celebrating our students, we will have a competition with our School Houses. They will pair up and at the end of this month, there will be a big celebration for the grand prize winner.
“Our country needs intelligent people to lead into the future. Eight Mile Rock is doing its part to ensure the declaring of that mandate,” concluded Cooper.
During a congratulatory moment, Computer Teacher, Keithtora Munroe was crowned Teacher of the Year for 2019-2021.
“This is a privilege and an honour that I stand before you as Eight Mile Rock High School newly ordained Teacher of the Year,” said Munroe.
“I first of all want to give thanks to God for this opportunity, He is still in charge of my life. I want to thank my colleagues, who supported me through this entire process and are still supporting. Thank you for having my back and pushing me forward.
“Thank you to those grade levels who said to me, even though we could not vote, we support you. But I want to take this moment to give a big thank you to the grade level that took me not half way, but took me over the finish line, class of 2019.
“Some of you know I would’ve had you in line and Lord have mercy on me, you stressed me out, but you took me in 2019 and I wish the class of 2019 the best in your future purpose, as I walk in mine.”