SPSPS’ K-12 pioneers attend in-person grad rites amid the COVID-19 pandemic

PALO, Leyte — At least 300 Paulinians that pioneered the K-12 program graduated from college through in-person commencement exercises last May 26.

The ceremony is the third time Saint Paul School of Professional Studies (SPSPS) has held limited face-to-face graduation rites since the pandemic.

The graduating class of 2022 attended the event at the SPSPS parking lot and completed their respective degrees in the Accountancy, Accounting Information System, Business Administration, and Real Estate Management programs upon conferment by the school president. 

This year’s top graduates are from the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) major in Marketing program.

The class salutatorian, Nicole Joy Serohijos, expressed in her welcoming remarks a conviction to pursue knowledge and live a life of leadership and service in any circumstances. 

“We are the living testimonies of how successful SPSPS has been in implementing the K-12 program. Being its pioneering batch, we shall go out to the world to join the workforce and be the key players in advancing our society,” she said. 

Serohijos expressed her gratitude to the institution for providing the avenue to embrace change towards success.

“The quality of education that the school afforded us will be our best asset as professionals,” she said. “We have experienced shifting through different learning modes, but we managed to make the most out of every situation and opportunity to transform and continue our education.”

The class valedictorian, Roselle De Chavez, delivered the words of gratitude and emphasized the importance of working hard to achieve academic success. 

“Our core value, the Pursuit of Excellence, is not measured by our IQ, but in our grit and growth mindset,” she said. “We are all different, but we cannot change that. What we can do is recalibrate our mindset and how we respond to some circumstances.” 

De Chavez also shared the morals she upholds in her narrative of achieving success.

“You may not be the smartest, but you can be the most hardworking. Discover your unfair advantage and nurture it. Build the habit of showing up because the most successful people start at that,” she said. 

The 2022 Saint Paul Signum Meriti honoree Grace Abella-Zata urged the graduates to overcome their fears and embrace growth. She shared a life philosophy to remind the younger generation to choose life as they can alter the world by making responsible decisions. 

“Faced with options at critical junctures or even in ordinary everyday circumstances, we should choose life,” she said. “Choosing life means choosing to grow.”

SPSPS observed strict health protocols by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) during the program, which lasted four hours. The attendees were required to wear face masks, check their temperature, sanitize, and observe social distancing. 

Consequently, only selected family members of graduating students were allowed to join the ceremony. They were also required to present either full vaccination cards or negative RT-PCR results for unvaccinated attendees.

As of writing, Leyte province, which is currently under alert level 1, has already recorded 23,293 cases, nine of which are active with 243 deaths, according to the Department of Health website.

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