On Thursday 25th October Stanborough held a memorable Speech Night to celebrate the students’ achievements throughout the academic year 2011-2012. Elder Daniel Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, was the guest of honour. His inspirational speech focused on how “your attitude determines your altitude”. Elder Jackson shared how a correct attitude helped one of his children –he is father to three and grandfather to four – to overcome his initial difficulties with learning how to read. He encouraged the students to be authentic and aim high.
Elder Jackson also participated in the presentation of awards and prizes, conducted by Mr Kish Poddar and Mrs Eileen Hussey (both Assistant Heads at the school). In an emotive moment, he presented Sarah Bashorun, a former student, with the Fletcher Cup – given to those who have shown remarkable courage and determination in the face of adversity.
Sarah Bashorun’s family emigrated from Nigeria when she was 8 years of old. Coming from a culture vastly different, Sarah struggled to adjust to her new environment. Growing up in Hackney and attending an inner London School was a daunting task for a young immigrant girl. In 1990 she joined Stanborough. This meant a daily commute starting from home at 6.00 am, meeting up with fellow school mates at Euston Station, and usually arriving at Stanborough School late after travelling over two and a half hours. Sarah would get home in the evening at 7.00 pm, too tired for homework. However, she soon learnt to adapt by doing her homework on the train.
In spite of the difficult times and of all the demands on her, Sarah found Stanborough School to be ‘a place of escape’ where she found peace. At the School she found Jesus and was baptised at the age of thirteen at the New Gallery church. After she graduated from school, Sarah got a Diploma in Social Work and Higher Education from Luton University. Sarah has been working in Social work for 15 years now, and often refers to her struggles and enduring experience during her time at Stanborough in her counselling sessions. She is currently working for Haringey Social Services, supporting families subject to immigration control.
The Headmistress, Mrs Lorraine Dixon, gave her annual report, pointing out Stanborough’s excellent academic results at KS3+ and GCSE, with 79% of the students achieving 5+ A*-C grades (64% A*-C including English and Mathematics. National Average: 58.9%). Mrs Dixon also commended the spiritual development of the students and their active participation in local and international charities such as STOP international.
The Stanborough Secondary Choir, conducted by Miss Ji Eun Ahn, performed beautifully “The Prayer”; while the string ensemble delighted the audience with Handel’s “Water Music” and “Last minute”. Former student and pianist, Min-Young Bae, performed impeccably Mendelssohn’s “Prelude in E Minor” for the enjoyment of all present. The voice of the students was represented by the Head Boy, Lukonde Mwinga, who closed the evening with a wholehearted vote of thanks to all teachers and staff members.