ST. THOMAS — The All Saints Cathedral Class of 2021 may be small, but it is resilient and full of determination. The “Perfect 10” graduated in a ceremony at the cathedral on Friday.

It’s been a tough year for the graduates. Half the school year was done virtually and half in-person to meet safety restrictions due to COVID-19. They returned to the classroom in January. Because of the precautions, Head of School Carla Sarauw reported that the school has had no outbreaks of the virus.

Valedictorian Maura Richardson has been with the school since the third grade. She said virtual learning was a challenge because it was easy to get distracted with other things she would rather do at home, but her parents pushed her to put away the distraction and focus.

Richardson will be studying marine biology at the University of the Virgin Islands in the fall, with a goal to be an aquatic veterinarian scientist. First, she’ll be going to the Florida Keys to participate in a Youth Diving with a Purpose program.

“I want my classmates to know that they’ve made it this far and I’m so proud of them, but to take these next steps seriously, because these next steps are adulthood,” Richardson said before the ceremony. “It is our future and how we plan to make a better living for ourselves.”

“We came back all happy to see each other in January. It’s good to be back in person and have an in-school graduation,” said class speaker Denney Gonzalez, who intends to study environmental engineering at the University of the Virgin Islands. “Congratulations to the Class of 2021 for your achievements, and for the next class, do your best and have fun.”

Salutatorian Kacey McCurdy will be attending Ohio State University in the fall in hopes of becoming a veterinarian. She has had a lifelong passion for animals. And once she gains the knowledge and experience she needs, she may be heading back to the Virgin Islands to set up a practice.

“Experience life. Try new things, because I know I’m going to do it when I go off. Just enjoy your time as you branch off into your different fields. Enjoy as much as you can,” she told her classmates. “To my family, I don’t think there are enough thank yous for you for being there and being my rock.”

The keynote speaker was Chavante Marsh, an All Saints alumnus of the Class of 2011, and an electrical engineer with the V.I. Water and Power Authority.

“Live your dream. You have dreams and I pray all of them come true.,” she told the graduates. “Every disappointment, every blessing, every class you have taken, every essay written, have all been preparing you to adapt to the change and the challenges of the world. I am confident that the world will be a better place because of you.”