By Carlena Knight
Eleven-year-old Aliane Challenger of Grace Christian Academy has been named the top student for this year’s Grade Six National Assessment.
Challenger migrated from Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017, and began attending Grace Christian Academy in Grade 3.
Since that time, she has always been at the top of her class.
However, despite her previous accolades, she was in fact “surprised and in disbelief” over being named the top student in Antigua and Barbuda with a score of 378, edging out 1,445 other students for the top position.
“I was just really surprised and in disbelief,” Challenger said. “I couldn’t believe that I did so great.”
The Lightfoot resident also told Observer media that she is thankful to God, her family and her teachers for their support.
She admitted that it was a bit challenging at first dealing with the pandemic while balancing school but she mentioned that after a while, she got the hang of it with some much-appreciated support from her teachers and family.
The music lover also offered some tips for other students who are also preparing for exams.
“I think if they study, pray to God for their health and not panic, then they will do well,” she said.
Challenger, who also plays the violin and piano and loves graphic designing and computers, is the older of two children for pilot Oran and stay at home mom Annillia Challenger, both of whom are from Dominica.
Her father could not contain his excitement as he spoke about his daughter’s outstanding accomplishment.
“Of course, I feel excitement, but I was a little bit shocked. You know you have great expectations from your children and Aliane always studied hard, she put in a lot of extra work and has always set high goals for herself, so you are excited as a parent and a little shocked but then you think to yourself this was her goal of being in the top three, so certainly this is something that has brought a lot of excitement for me,” Oran revealed.
Her mother, Annillia also shared Oran’s excitement for her first born.
“Right now, every time I look at Aliane I just feel so happy. I guess I just feel like a good mom. It’s just surreal. I know she worked hard and it was her goal to be in the top three but you know, it just all feels surreal. Every now and then, even talking to you right now, I am getting goosebumps. It’s just exciting nevertheless,” she added.
As the top student, Challenger has secured a placement at the Antigua Girls’ High School, but her family is also giving consideration to her attending a private high school.