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Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Margaret Collins Elementary School -
Sixth Grade Ceremony - June 6th 2017 -
Pinole - California.

We all remember when we young - how we treasured the memories - more on occasions - when we all gathered - to be promoted - received certifications - decked in our best clothes - and in the presence of our revered teachers, our parents, supporters and loved ones.

When I was asked by my good friend Maurice Tatum to be the key note speaker at the graduation of the Sixth Grade Students - I accepted the honor.

I had never been to this school in Pinole, California a small town by the people who live in this small town - known as Pinole - they all have a big heart. 

They were so welcoming and the students and parents - so hospitable.

It was a sunny day - the students basking in the hot sun -
waiting for the ceremony to begin - 
to accept their well earned promotion and certifications.

I chose to go to the school - a little before the ceremony started - and on visiting the classroom - saw the many essays that were posted on the board. One of a kind essays.

I was amazed - reading the essays - and more the aspirations of the students -  took the liberty to talk to some of the students - gathering some general information. 

The students - were so very friendly - but more so articulate and well mannered.

Mrs Denise Penny and Mrs Verdell Simon-Tatum

When I asked the students what did they wanted to be - in life - one said he wanted to be a Doctor, his classmate was quick to say that she wanted to be an inventor.

Another said she wanted to be a teacher - and yet another a nurse - and I marveled at the way they said what they wanted to be.

These students all well educated - I sincerely hope they all fulfill their aspirations in life.

What a blessing to have such intelligent students, and more teachers and parents - who truly care about those in their care - and take great pains to educate.

The Principal Mrs Pinney - handing the certificates -
one by one - those students - who gathered - witnessed
the joy was never whelming -  it was all good.

Derrion Woolridge he inspires to become a doctor.

Manuel Ochoa - a leader - calm and recollected
I asked many questions and he was so articulate -
well educated - he has a very bright future.

It was a great event - after the event -
food was served - what a joyful event.

As we all know - most of us who are adults - and more those that are professionals - education plays a key role - in our life.

Each one of us can go back to the days we all were in school -  those of us who have worked hard - chose one of a kind careers -  got the best exposure -  if we love our work - most everything is in place.

These students come from all over the world Vietnam, Brazil, Yemen, China, the Philippines, Guatemala, Laos, Mexico, El Salvador, Morocco - I did not go deep to ask each student where they hailed from - only those that I felt were first generation immigrants.

Jessica Wilbur -
she is smart - but what is important to know -
she is a team player.

As I mentioned before - I was amazed how quickly most of them have adapted to the United States - and here in Bay Area - where most everywhere - we have diversity - that we all embrace and treasure.

Standing tall these immigrant children -  those born here in the United States - the children love one another - and I saw the team work - that comes from sound education  training and respect.

Kudos to the teachers - Mrs Verdell Simon-Tatum and Mrs Escanellas - the Principal Mrs Denise Pinney - to the many volunteers, of course the parents who love their children - and want their children to do well in their studies.

The staff of the school - the maintenance workers - who keep the school in good shape - you all make Margaret Collins Elementary School look and more feel great.

Once again thank you all - for giving me an opportunity to address the young graduates - from the Sixth Grade.

Meet the teachers, the staff and principal - from Margaret Collins Elementary School.

The parents, the volunteers and supporters - it was a nice sunny day - and I must say - I will always have fond memories of this great event.

 God Bless you all. Aho.

Mrs Verdell Simon-Tatum - Caitlin Louis - Mrs Denise Pinney

Mrs Verdell Simon-Tatum and her 6th Grade Class

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