It is always a joyous occasion when students gather around each other to celebrate academic excellence, with administrators setting aside a time in the school’s season to commend the hardworking students who’ve deprived themselves of fun, in order to remain distinctive.
As for the students of the Grand Bahama Academy on Friday, October 8, there was an Awards Ceremony held at the Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church to applaud their diligence.
The students listened attentively as guest speaker, President of the Senate, Senator Katherine B. Smith empowered them with words of motivation.
Speaking to the event’s theme, ‘Pursuing excellence with Christ being your guide,’ Sen. Smith told the students that the need to succeed is driven by the need to be better than their friends and by their parents.
She said that pursuing excellence suggests that if one goes after his or her objectives with unwavering tenacity and zeal, that individual will never allow anything to deter them nor distract them.
Sen. Smith told the students that if they choose Christ as their pursuit, excellence is theirs for the taking. “Recognizing that the life and ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the epitome of excellence, therefore, you are to model the Christ-like characteristics in all that they do.”
Noting that pursuing excellence resulted in her being successful over her career, Sen. Smith quoted from famed educator Booker T. Washington, “Excellence is to do a common thing, in an uncommon way.
“As defined in the Webster’s Dictionary, excellence is said to be the possession of good qualities, in an unusual degree, surpassing virtue, merit, worth and value. But the definition to me, is to be better today than you were yesterday and tomorrow than you were today.
“It is necessary to disregard areas in our lives,” said the Senator, “because it hinders the pursuit of excellence through Jesus Christ. We must learn to let go of activities, commitments, relationships and interests that are not producing the fruit of an excellent manner in our lives. In order to remain successful, you must maximize your potential and more importantly, undergird and preface all of your undertakings in prayer. Luke chapter 18 verse 1 says, men are to pray and not faint. So, since prayer is the driving force and tool that is used to produce the best in us as Jesus did, we are to walk in that same faith.”
Sen. Smith noted that excellence is never an accident, “it is always the result of high intentions, sincere effort and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice not chance, determines your destiny.”