The Doha British School graduated its inaugural Class of 2012 during a ceremony held at the school premises yesterday. A total of 26 students received their International Baccalaureate diploma certificates. In his welcome message, the school principal Terry McGuire urged the graduates to “reach for the stars… and attain their goals,” adding, “Socrates said ‘education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel,’ and we hope that your experience here has kindled that flame and instilled within you a passion for learning.” He said for the students to get to where they are required, they need to give everything, be resilient, resourceful and responsible. “Blood, sweat and tears are the minimum. I have witnessed the steely determination of these students and at the same time, been amazed by the capacity they have for doing so much more around, and for, the school,” he said. He mentioned that the students have been involved in shows, instrumental performances, sports competitions, charitable work and that they have been excellent role models for the rest of the school community. “The students have matured in an environment that will prepare them well for the challenges ahead. In this cohort, we have potential doctors, actors, engineers, professional footballers, air force personnel, filmmakers, musicians, lawyers and athletes,” he noted. During the event, three of the students– Abdulrazag el-Aradi, Michael Henderson and Ebubechukwu Ubochi, distinguished themselves among their peers, as they were awarded the class valedictorian, principal’s outstanding achievement and graduate of merit awards, respectively. The commencement speaker, Al Jazeera Television senior anchor Stephen Cole, who shared his 39 years of experience as a journalist and news anchor with the students, urged them to look for new ways of doing things such as by embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship and taking the advantage of the events going on in the region and in the world, to discover their potential and set their goals for the future. “Yours is a brave new world… and things are going in so many directions, but I want you to know that without these so many complications, you won’t be able to face your directions and if you have the intelligence to be an entrepreneur, don’t overlook it,” he told graduates, capping it with the message “don’t chase money, chase success.” The school head girl Rawan Ajami also gave a speech on behalf of the graduating students. Highlights of the event were musical performances by the students which included Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They are a Changing’ performed by Rey Nazareno and Ebubechukwu Ubochi; ‘Times of Your Life’ (Green Day) by Valerie de Saegher, Jared McKay, Faizan Shabbir, Radheya Visperas, and Danika Giron (violinist) and ‘Seasons of Love’ (Jonathan Larson) performed by Valerie de Saegher, Jared McKay, Rey Nazareno, Ebubechukwu Ubochi, Faizan Shabbir and Radheya Visperas. The school, which has classes from kindergarten up to year 13, runs the national curriculum of England offering the montessori teaching methods in the kindergarten and the beginning of reception, and follows the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme from the sixth form. It presently has 1,170 students and more than 90 teachers.