April 14, 2024

Speech Night celebrates excellence


The traditional academic procession of the educators in their black gowns, along with the guest speaker for the evening, created an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation in the Universitas Geloofsentrum. For the past year those educators had worked overtime to complete the curriculum. Their consistent determination to strive for excellence enabled the prize winners to reach their goals.
The event coordinator, Dr Johan Cromhout, welcomed the guest speaker, Ms Lerato Bereng, an SMS Old Girl of 2003. This admirable woman has made a name for herself in the world of Fine Arts.
Ms Bereng gave credit to how the school nurtured her growth and groomed her to be the independent woman she is today. In an interview conducted with her, she revealed how the school encouraged her circle of friends and her classmates to excel and how it gave them the necessary tools and opportunities to do so. She added that they were taught the meaning of community and teamwork at St Michael’s – concepts that have been instrumental in her personal professional development.
Ms Bereng is an inspiration; her individuality is admirable. When asked for a message to the Class of 2021, she said, ‘The Class of 2021 is incredibly impressive. I was amazed by what smart, eloquent, confident, charismatic young women you are. You are exactly who you need to be, remember that. You may still be blossoming and figuring out your unique voice, but trust yourself. The part of you that will lead you to greatness is already there. 17-year-old me made one of the most important decisions of my life and I’m eternally grateful for her foresight. Learn as much as you can wherever and from whomever and you can. Be fearless and make sure you occupy your light. Congratulations on being you, you’re halfway to being a superstar!’
Head Girl of 2021, Kgotsatsana Mabalane, thanked the guest speaker for her address that left many learners feeling encouraged to take on the world. Bishop Dintoe Letloenyane concluded the evening with a blessing.

Speech Night 2021, and in fact all Speech Nights for the past decade, would not have been possible without the superb dedication of Dr Johan Cromhout who revealed some interesting facts about what happens behind the scenes of Speech Night.
According to him, the hunt to find a guest speaker who has done something inspiring and out of the ordinary to achieve her dreams already takes place in the second term.
A number of meetings take place over a couple of weeks. In these meetings prize winners of awards such as the Laureates and Honours badges are discussed. Mathematics teacher, Mr Henry van Coller works out the final marks that determine the academic standings of the learners for Speech Night.
Catering is planned, trophies have to be polished and certificates and programmes have to be printed.
The learners always want to know the criteria to get an award and, in response to this, Dr Cromhout states that the answers are in the Blue Book.
The Laureate Awards are the ‘cherry on top’ for Dr Cromhout. He elaborates on what a privilege it is to receive a Laureate: ‘A lot of tough deliberation goes into the final decisions and so to see the most deserving learners earn the award is such a pleasure.’
The 101st of its kind, Speech Night 2021 was an evening of excellence to remember. On this special occasion, standards were set and exceptional achievements were rewarded.
The Senior Chapel Choir’s riveting performance gave everyone present goose bumps. Dedication and pride could be seen on the faces of the choristers who sang with all their heart.