Despite the extremely inclement weather on the morning of May 5, students, teachers, local government officials and community well-wishers made their way to the Anglican Church of St Martin at Sandy Point for a special assembly to honour the James A. Pinder Primary School Student of the Year, Florence Burrows. Once everyone was seated, Florence made her walk of honour to the front of the church where she received many accolades throughout the programme.
Her school Principal, Brenell Higgs, described Florence as; “A well-mannered, friendly, obedient and unique individual who lets nothing and no one deter her from striving for excellence despite her challenges. She has come a mighty long way, overcoming her struggles and improving herself academically throughout the primary years and even achieving the honour roll. Florence strives to keep herself involved in positive activities not only at school but also in her church and community. This humble, determined young lady always puts God first.”
Mrs. Higgs told Florence how much the students love her and that they had worked hard to put the morning’s special programme together for her.
The Administrator for South Abaco, Lavon Harris-Smith, said how pleased she was to be there to pay tribute and honour to “our Queen for today.” She commended Florence’s parents, teachers and the village of Sandy Point for; “helping and training up this child in the way she should go.”
She then encouraged Florence to stay focused and ladylike and continue to make the whole of Abaco proud and closed by saying, “May God continue to open doors for you so that you may obtain a scholarship and go on to higher learning.”
Jacqueline Estevez, Chief Councilor for South Abaco, expressed her pride in Florence and her achievements. She encouraged her to; “Always dream big and set your goals high as you strive for excellence in academics. Put God first and he will guide your path. Work hard as you go into the next chapter of your life”.
Florence’s father, Lowell Burrows, thanked the staff of the school and also the community for their encouragement and sang a solo “To God be the Glory”.
The students of the school played a large part in the programme which they had specially put together for the occasion. Alexia Stubbs opened in prayer followed by Lavonya Swain who led the singing of the National Anthem and Kaitlyn Gaitor who gave words of welcome.
A tribute was paid to Florence by Aliyaah Taylor who described Florence as; “A very dear friend who is always offering help and on whom one can always depend.” This delightful celebration was rounded out with a lively selection sung by the school choir and a dance performed by Antonia Rolle and Breanna Pinder.
After being showered with gifts from students, teachers, family and members of the community Florence came to the podium to give a vote of thanks.
“I thank my parents, teachers, students and well-wishers for all the love and care they have shown me. Without them I would not be here celebrating today. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”