Pembroke, Bermuda: After an arduous year of learning remotely and dealing with personal challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Berkeley Institutes Head Pupils Daria Symonds (18) and Andreaz Glasgow (17) are preparing to leave the hallowed halls of the school to enter the Wide Cold World.
The dynamic duo along with their peers have been experiencing a school year like no other. They have been largely remote from academic peers, cut off from the normal crowds at school and sports events, and unable to enjoy some of the classic features and perks of their senior status.
“If I asked myself as a Senior 1 student starting high school what my final year would look like, I definitely would not say a pandemic.” said Andreaz, Head Boy
He added “Since starting my tenure in 2017 at Berkeley I’ve also wanted to be a leader within the school, local, and global community” he continued on by saying “I don’t believe a leader is defined by their title, label, or status. A leader is someone that acts with out the need to be praised or hailed for their actions. They aren’t afraid to be the black sheep in the flock”.
Despite the challenges, the pupils have managed to make the best of their situation, finding connections and accomplishments in a difficult time.
Berkeley deputy principal Quincy Paynter responsible for leadership and development noted that while it is disappointing to miss out on activities including senior trips, the senior cotillion and taking on leadership roles in school, the school has still made students feel they are part of a community.
Daria Symonds, Head Girl also plays a leadership role along with her peer Andreaz. She added “I have mixed emotions about leaving Berkeley. I think I may actually cry at graduation because I am both elated to move on to the next journey but saddened that due to the COVID-19 pandemic my time physically in the building has been cut” as well as “ I think I will most miss the heart warming memories and interaction with my teachers and peers on a regular basis”
She added “Because I also function as Vice President of the Student Council, I see how many events we haven’t been able to hold because of the pandemic. Although, our team is making the best to hold as many events as possible such as our upcoming Spirit Week”
When asked about their involvement within the school the students added this:
Andreaz: “I try to keep myself busy. If you know me, you know that I am always active and doing something. Within my school I function as Head Boy, Student Council President, Garden Club President, Green House Vice Captain, Peer Mediator, and Prefect.”
Daria: “At Berkeley I like to stay active. I am currently Head Girl, Student Council Vice President, Science Club Leader, Dancer, and Prefect”
The students also let us know their hobbies and interests:
Andreaz: “Life without a hobby is like codfish without potatoes. My favourite hobbies are cooking, traveling, home projects, gardening, and aquaculture; my career interests are business, entrepreneurship, aviation, the environment, and leadership/community service.
Daria: “In my free time I thoroughly enjoy playing the flute, volunteering with St. Johns Ambulance, dancing, gymnastics, and cycling with my parents on Sundays”
The Berkeley Institute provides many unique and diverse opportunities for all its students. When asked about an experience that will be with them forever, they added this:
Andreaz “Where do I start! Berkeley has afforded me so many opportunities and opened so many doors for me. If I had to choose, I would say certainly the networking and travel. I have been able to travel over 5 times to compete on a global scale with Berkeley courtesy of the Virtual Enterprise international program. In short it gives students the chance to run and operate their own simulated virtual business and compete with students all around the world” In addition “Daria would also concur on this but we both traveled to Costa Rica together in S2 where we both engaged in rainforest and habitat conservation as a result of an opportunity offered by ours schools science department”
Daria: “I definitely see eye to eye with Andreaz. One of my most memorable trips was to Costa Rica where it furthered sparked my interest for science” However “An exciting learning experience was when I won a $5,000 scholarship from L ’alliance Francaise in conjunction with Berkeley to study abroad in France for a month in my S1 year. I learned so much about France and assimilated into the French culture quickly. Each day involved immersion in French classes and surfing every afternoon – a fear I finally overcame. My French skills improved tremendously because my host mother only knew about 10 words in English! The highlight of this trip was being able to celebrate France’s World Cup victory in the city of Bayonne.
The Head Students were asked about their future endeavors and had this to
Andreaz: “After finishing Berkeley I will be entering the Honors program at Long Island University (New York, USA) in the fall to study Business with a concertation in Marketing and Management. I also look to pursue a certification in Environmental Auditing, Pollution control, and Waste Management. From there I look to open my own company focusing on primarily around islands Lands and Buildings.
Daria: “I will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick, Canada). Upon completion I will further pursue a medical degree specializing in emergency medicine at St George’s School of Medicine in Grenada”
They both ended by saying “Respice Finem – Keep the End in View”
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