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On 2nd February 2018 St. Paul’s English School bid ‘Adieu’ to the graduating class of grade X and XII students through the Valedictory Ceremony themed ‘Aashayein’. The Guest of Honour for this milestone moment was Mr Mahidhara Davangere (an Associate Actuary and a Risk consultant) and founder and Managing Director of ‘Pramartha’. It is one of the few Indian risk consulting firms with expertise in actuarial, quantitative and analytics practices. The Valedictorian Paulites were blessed by the presence and good wishes of Dr Nissar Ahmed (Chancellor- Presidency University and Chairman of Presidency Group of Institutions), Mr Tanveer Ahmed (Director – Mitra Academy), Mrs Vijaya Thangadurai, Mr Shah and Mr Satyanarayana; senior members of the management, Ms. Bhuvaneshwari, Principal (Presidency School, Bangalore South); Ms Indira Kotenath ( Principal of Presidency School RT Nagar), Mr Jayaprakash ( Principal of Presidency School Nandini Layout), Vice Principals of Presidency  Group Schools, members from the Presidency Group Corporate HR  and many other luminaries. The school choir sang an all faith song drenched in divine devotion seeking the blessings of God. The lighting of the lamps by all the luminaries started off the evening’s programmes. Vice Principal Deepa Gopal Ma’am delivered the Welcome Address. She reminded the valedictorians that the rhyme from their kindergarten days “One, two, buckle my shoe…” now marked them on a scale of academic performance and later on would signify their worth at the workplace in numbers. After advising them to take good care of their bodies and minds to last an entire lifetime, Deepa Ma’am told them to never forget their roots as they forged ahead on wheels of fire to meet their goals. Principal Susan Roy Ma’am oversaw the solemn ritual of handing over of responsibilities by the outgoing school leader Valedictorians to the Grade 9 Cabinet members. After this the School Choir sang “ Pause for a moment, Take a deep breath…” followed by the candle lighting ceremony which was the most mesmerizing spectacle of the evening.

Our Paulites passed on the ‘Flame of Knowledge’ to each other under the benevolent eyes of their alma-mater. The School choir’s lilting rendition of “A million lights” was electrifying brought forth tears of parting mixed with the anticipation of new beginnings. The Valedictorians took the Oath with a heavy heart as they became emotional to leave behind their alma mater. Principal Susan Roy in her ‘Farewell’ address to the Valedictorians, told them that their parents and grandparents were ‘Traffic signals for them in the blind spots in their lives and deserved thunderous applause for their nurturing care.’ She remarked that fourteen years seemed like such a short span of time and the time to leave had arrived so soon. Referring to the Valedictory evening’s message “Walk on with hope in your heart and you will never walk alone” Susan Ma’am showed a video on the gruelling ‘Hell Week’ training for the United States Special Forces SEAL officers. Ma’am pointed out that behaviour of the trainees in the video was the best example of the need to be a ‘tough minded optimist’ at every juncture in life. Her evocative words ‘Changing the world can happen and everyone of you who is a tough minded optimist can and will do it, all it takes is hope and help from others..” sent a buzz all around. The speech by Kindergarten students Shalini and Anam in cherubic lisping tones replete with tongue-in-cheek humour had the audience and our valedictorians laughing uproariously. These little angels said ‘Adieu’ to their seniors in the most beguiling way.The audience, the Valedictorians and all others present gave them a thundering ovation. The School choir then energetically sang a very peppy Kannada song “Lokada Kalaji’. Mr Giri Balasubramaniam(father of PriyankaGiri of Std 10) spoke of how the school years for students at St Paul’s from the kindergarten to Grade 12were a harmonious blend of stellar moral values, rigorous studies and various extracurricular activities that had given them a powerful start for the life ahead. He lauded the salubrious atmosphere at the school and the tireless efforts of the Principal Susan Roy and her team which had made  St Paul’s 10th grade students achieve the national rank among students from 18,000 English medium schools in India. His words of advice to the graduating class of 2018 –“Whatever you do in life –Be humble, be focussed, always remain in touch with your friends from school, never forget your teachers and the values they instilled in you”.

Mrs Sandhya.H. Baliga (mother of Karan Baligaof Grade 12)  spoke for the parents of the graduating class of 2018 showered accolades on the Principal, teachers and staff at St Paul’s and lauded the efforts of the entire team at St Paul’s in shaping the students into  well-adjusted and responsible members of the community. She thanked the team at St Paul’s and the Principal Susan Ma’am for the sacrifices they had made in giving the students a safe bedrock of support and values in the formative years and moulding them into young leaders ready to face any of life’s challenges. She said she felt the grief of parting from the School as deeply as all the graduates. The school choir then rendered the song “Love you, Zindagi”” . Chaturya. S and Suraj of Grade X and Ipsita and Ayush Murthy of Grade XII  respectively marvelled at how their school years had passed by so quickly from infancy to young adulthood in the encouraging cocoon like atmosphere of St Paul’s and the time to say goodbye had come too quickly and hit them like a bolt out of the blue. The song “Thank you Lord for your blessings on me” by the school choir left many in the audience with tears trembling on their eyelashes. The Chief Guest Mr Mahidhara Davangere marvelled at the splendour of the Valedictory ceremony. He was inspired on hearing the words ‘tough minded optimist’ spoken by Susan Ma’am. His advice was “Difficulties in life come to those who are worthy. Always treasure your moral values, keep calm and truthful in adversity and remain proud Indians always. “

Mrs. Mildred D’Souza (Head of the Kindergarten) proposed the Vote of Thanks. The evening’s programme concluded with a sumptuous dinner arranged for the parents and students by the school management.