It was a proud moment Monday for the teachers, students and parents of one of the outer schools in the rural area of Pomme Rose, St. David as one of its own topped the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) examination.
Twelve year old Rayana Douglas of the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic school has powered over 1955 students who sat the exam on May 20 to give her school its first ever top place in the exams.
The result prompted the school into celebratory mode just after mid-day and they immediately took to the streets in a motorcade as they paraded through Pomme Rose and La Tante with drums, chants and dance.
THE NEW TODAY was on hand to witness the occasion and was able to speak with Rayana who said she was feeling “really good” over her performance in the exams.
“I studied hard and because I am a good writer, I did my stories well. Our parents were encouraging us, our teachers taught us well and helped us with all the stuff we had to get for the internal part.” she told the newspaper.
Her twin sister Reyana Douglas, who placed second for the school and 13th overall in the island said it was a great feeling.
“I am very proud of both myself and my sister, that we got good positions,” she remarked.
Her advice to those students writing the 2017 exam is that “hard work pays off.”
The mother of the twins, Marsha Douglas-Ottley, who is a Librarian at the school said both her daughters had the ability to do very well but the one topping the exam is a little bit more focused.
She said it was a joyous moment to know that one of her daughters did so well but also to know both her daughters performed at their best in the exams.
“I have big expectations of both of them going forward. Rayana and Reyana are very disciplined. I don’t always have to be barking behind them to get their books. In fact, I have to beg them sometimes to go outside and get some breeze…they are always doing something constructive,” the proud mother stated.
Both sisters will be attending Anglican High School (AHS) from September and their mother single out for praise a number of teachers who are no longer at the Pomme Rose school who must be thanked for their contribution to the educational development of the two girls.
The father of the twins, Andrei Ottley told our News Desk that he is vey excited and proud of both his daughters for their achievements in the exams.
“I expected them to excel. I was not sure that Rayana would come first but I knew that she was one of the top students in the island. I pray that they would stay focused and stay studious as they have shown and they would achieve anything that they want to achieve in life,” he said.
Rayana, the top student requested Pringles from her parents for making them feel proud while her sister Reyana asked for a trip to Tortola.
THE NEW TODAY also spoke with Denton Forteau, one of the two Grade 6 teachers who worked along with the students to prepare them for the exams.
Forteau told this newspaper that although the preparation for the exam takes a lot out of the students, it pays off especially when students excel.
“It’s rather exciting, I am elated…the first position came as a surprise, I knew the students were going to do well, we expected that but first position wasn’t in our minds.
“We at St Joseph’s RC School work hard and we work as a team. We try to sit down and strategise exactly what we’re going to do, how we’re going to go forward at every term.
“We’re going to be planning, we’re going to try and put the necessary methods in place…I know the public will be expecting a lot from us, come next year but I think we’re ready.
A proud principal, Patsy Clyne-George also spoke to THE NEW TODAY Newspaper on Monday.
“I knew it was possible because from infancy she (Rayana) was a very, very focused individual, a very willing individual…I was hoping that it would happen,” remarked the elated principal.
Clyne-George advised the twins to keep focus as they go into a new school and a new environment, and to embrace all that is good and form relationships that would be helpful to them.
The St Joseph’s Roman Catholic, Pomme Rose had 37 students writing the exam and 33 students will be moving onto secondary schools.
Taking sixth position in the exam was Crochu RC, another rural school in St. Andrew.
Twelve year old Jayden Holder tied with Lillian Mary Best of St Mary’s Junior School for the sixth position.
Holder appeared to be a little bit disappointed with his position as he said that he could have done much better.
“I am a little bit happy but I think that (performance) was the least of my abilities and if I (had) pushed a little bit harder I could’ve come first,” he said.
However, the student thanked his mother as she was a big influence in his achievement.
“She helped me to push to become the best that I can be,” he said.
Jayden will be attending the Presentation Brother’s College (PBC) and he is hopeful that this will mark the start of his journey towards becoming a Neurosurgeon.
Principal of the Crochu RC, Kester Lyons said it’s a good feeling to know that one of his students would have done so well in the exams.
“He is a highly motivated student, very intelligent and he has applied himself, not only … he has the backing of his parent. The results today is no great surprise, we expected him to do well and he did well,” remarked Principal Lyons.
One thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine (1,959) students were registered to write the Assessment.
This included one thousand and six (1,006) males and nine hundred and fifty-three (953) females. However, one thousand nine hundred and fifty five wrote the exams.
One thousand seven hundred and twenty three (1,723) students were assigned to secondary schools throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
This included eight hundred and thirty-nine (839) males and eight hundred and eighty-four (884) females.
The students who were not successful, once within the CPEA eligibility age will have another opportunity to write the Assessment in 2017.
Those students who have passed the age will have to write the National School Leaving Examination in 2017.