Top CSEC students celebrated during Annual Awards Ceremony

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Tahna Weston

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Dozens of students were honoured and celebrated for their accomplishments during the 2023 sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations during the 38th annual ACB Caribbean CSEC award ceremony on Thursday.

Supportive parents, friends and well-wishers graced the halls of the St John’s Pentecostal House of Restoration on Lauchland Benjamin Drive to cheer on those young men and women who performed exceptionally well during the regional exams.

The Top Student was D’Aundre Samuel, a former student of the St Joseph’s Academy whose faith in God propelled to reaching higher heights in addition to the encouragement of his parents.

Samuel, who attained 23 subjects with 21 Grade Ones and two Grade Twos in the regional examinations, said there were many sleepless nights with occasions in which he felt like doing nothing.

However, he said he not only persevered, but he did so to the end, while also heaping praises on his fellow awardees.

“Well, I am ecstatic, I am happy, I am happy for all the awardees; congratulations to everyone. We did our best in the midst of CXC (CSEC) in very hard and trying times, but we have come out triumphant.

“Well, it was a lot; it took a lot; a lot of time, work energy. Sometimes I just didn’t feel like doing anything, I just want to be there not even thinking about anything, honestly, to just be there. But I had to push through, I had to give myself motivation even when I didn’t have any, just to push through to do the work, [get it] completed to the best of my ability,” Samuel said.

Samuel, who’s a Christian, admonishes that we put God in everything we do, which he boasts he did, in order to reap His blessings.

The young man said he is happy for the outcome, which he has achieved through God’s help.

“He bestowed a gift upon me and I used it to the best of my ability. They [his parents] were the most encouraging. They made sure I am well nourished, I am relaxed, ask me how I am doing so far, how classes are going, how are exams, they made sure I got time to study by encouraging my other siblings to pick up my slack, but they have done their path in my opinion,” Samuel said.

And speaking about his Alma mater-the St Joseph’s Academy, Samuel referred to his former teachers and principal as his parents (family) away from home.  

He noted that his school family has done exceptionally well in molding him and encouraging his educational pursuits.

In addition to receiving an award for being the Student of the Year, which was presented to him by the Governor General’s Deputy Sir Clare Roberts, Samuel was also the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence, presented by Minister of Education, Sports and Creative Industries Daryll Matthew.

Principal of St Joseph’s Academy, Rudolph Davis, who read Samuel’s profile, said the young man’s spiritual conviction cannot be overlooked, as he always held on to God’s promise of never leaving him or forsaking him.

Davis was full of praise for Samuel’s mother who visited the school often to check in on her son and monitor his performance.

He said he always encouraged the students, over whom he has charge, to aspire for greatness, leave no stone unturned and not to get involved in nonsense because it leads to naught.    

The other top students were Adrian Judnarine, also a former student of the St Joseph’s Academy-who wrote 26 subjects, attaining 19 grade ones; and Stephanie Archibald and Tianna Bretney, both former students of the Baptist Academy, who tied for third place, writing 17 subjects, passing all at Grade One level.

Judnarine was also honoured on the Top Regional Merit List for placing first in the region in Industrial Technology and 10th place in Office Administration.

Archibald placed fifth within the region with a Grade One in Integrated Science.

Other students made the regional list ranking 2nd, 3rd, and 6th in subjects ranging from Office Administration, Visual Arts and Clothing, Textiles and Fashion.

Students also received platinum, gold, silver and bronze awards for their performances while others were awarded the Ministry of Education Certificate of National Recognition.

Paula Jay Watson was the recipient of the Ministry of Education Award, having written 11 subjects and attaining 10 Grade Ones and one Grade Two.

The Minister of Education and Yetlee Thomas the Branch Manager Village Walk at ACB Caribbean, title sponsor of the event, also gave commendations to the students.

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