The English School Leavers of 2022 will be moving onward in their academic journeys, having graduated from the institution that has been their home for the past seven years. At the ceremony held on Saturday, 25 June, the new graduates were addressed by their Headmaster, David Lambon, the Chairman of the Board of Management, Charalambos Iosephides, the Minister of Finance, Constantinos Petrides, and Guest Speaker Dr. Kypros Nicolaides, a graduate of the English School. A number of officials were in attendance, including the Mayor of Strovolos, Andreas Papacharalambous, and the Acting Director of Secondary Education, Mr. Nicholas Yiasoumi.
The students were congratulated on reaching this major milestone in their lives, having distinguished themselves along the way for their commitment, compassion, and leadership, which were nurtured and expanded during their time at the school, and will now serve as points of reference in their next steps.
A total of 154 students graduated from the English School this year, during the inspiring ceremony attended by their proud parents and guardians. Along with their diplomas, a number of graduates received academic excellence awards for achievements across a range of subjects, as well as awards for their outstanding contribution to debating and public speaking, music and orchestra, and sporting.
In his Welcome Address, the Chairman of the Board of Management, Mr. Charalambos Iosephides, thanked the teaching and support staff, crediting them with enabling the students to realise their full potential, as well as the parents, for always championing the school and standing by their children and the Board in every step. Addressing the Class of 2022, Chairman Iosephides remarked: “To our graduates, on behalf of the Board of Management, I wish you the very best of success and happiness in your futures, whether your next immediate step is your university education, or your National Service. I am confident that the lessons you were taught at the English School, both academic and non-academic, have given you the tools to become respectful, respectable, and free-thinking citizens, and given you the confidence to hold your own in the new world into which you are now venturing”.
For his part, Headmaster David Lambon said: “For all of us, graduation is both a time of reflection and of eager anticipation for the exciting opportunities that our graduates will embrace in the coming years”. Welcoming Dr. Kypros Nicolaides “home”, Headmaster Lambon then touched upon the distinguished alumnus’ journey from being a boarder at the English School to professor of foetal medicine at King’s College Hospital in London. “His personal journey […] is one of commitment, compassion, and leadership”, he noted, underscoring that these qualities lie at the heart of the skills and values the graduates had developed at the school over their seven-year tenure. “I hope the commitment, compassion, and leadership you have developed at school will guide you in your future lives at university and beyond”, added Headmaster Lambon.
Addressing the graduating class of 2022, Guest Speaker and alumnus, Dr. Kypros Nicolaides, applauded their resilience and dedication: “I congratulate you for reaching this wonderful milestone in your life, especially so during the COVID pandemic, which may well have been one of the most difficult periods in a lifetime”. Moreover, speaking as a proud alumnus, he emphasised the enduring bond one carries with them post-graduation: “However many years pass, wherever you happen to be, you will always be proud to have studied at the English School”.
Dr. Kypros, as he is known, was visibly touched while delivering his speech, having returned to his alma mater fifty-one years after his own graduation in 1970. He spoke warmly about his time at the English School, touching upon the many things he had learned “at one of the best schools in the world”; including how to share and work with others, how to participate in debates, and how to develop an inquiring mind. Importantly, the School served as the vehicle through which he carried out experiments in physics, chemistry, and biology for the first time, the first traces of what would flourish into a dedicated and pioneering career in medicine.
Earlier in the day, the School’s Science Building was officially named in honour of the revered English School graduate, during a brief ceremony in which he was warmly applauded by the School’s science teachers and the Board of Management to Coldplay’s “The Scientist”. This is the first time that a building has been named in honour of a former student, with that distinction having previously been bestowed on the School’s founder and teacher.
Echoing the Guest Speaker, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides noted how the English School stands apart in terms of the skills and resources it offers, enabling its students to utilise their full potential. “You should be proud of being part of this family, the English School Family”, underlined the Minister.
The English School, founded in 1900, stands as the oldest school of its kind outside the United Kingdom. The School began with 13 pupils but rapidly grew to become the premier English medium school in Cyprus, drawing its students from a range of cultural communities both locally and abroad.