By Carlena Knight
Eleven-year-old Tavez Edwards and 12-year-old Donella Lewis tied for the top spot among government primary school students in this year’s Grade 6 National Assessment.
Edwards of Jennings Primary, and Lewis of the Mary E Pigott Primary attained the honour after they both amassed 356 out of a possible 400, the highest scores earned by any government primary school student.
Edwards, who was born in Miami, Florida told Observer media yesterday that he was quite surprised by the news.
“I was honestly very surprised because I was just going along my day normally, and I never expected the results to come out so soon,” he revealed.
He, however, thanked God, his teachers, and his parents for their support.
The avid tennis player said he does not particularly like reading, but is more interested in listening to music or practicing on the tennis court on the weekend, and hopes one day to become a professional tennis player.
However, he also offered some advice to other students who are preparing for upcoming exams.
“Well, first thing, pray before you go into the exam room. Secondly, just work very hard. Don’t slack off and start liming around the place and doing whatever you want to do, and not focus on your work. Let’s just say, it was very hard coming through the years having to learn all of this and also having to come home and do things around the house. So, just work hard,” the 11-year old said.
For his parents, Derrick “Pretty Boy” Edwards and Beverly Samuel-Edwards, they were overcome by an overwhelming feeling of excitement and shock when they heard the news.
His father, a former national footballer and coach, said he got very emotional knowing the hard work his son had put in.
“To tell you the honest truth, I am really proud and I did shed some tears because the work that I know he put into his school work, I knew that he would have done well but to go the extra mile to be the top government school student, it brought me to tears,” Derrick said.
While for his mom, Beverly, it was just a surreal moment.
“I was overwhelmed when I got the call. I couldn’t believe at first, but I was very happy; very happy. I am just proud of him,” she added.
Come September, young Edwards will be attending the Antigua Grammar School.
Meanwhile, Lewis also told Observer that she was very excited when she heard the news.
“Well, I was really excited. I knew that I could have done it but I had little doubt in myself but my family, my friends and my teachers got me through all the anxiety and stress that I had,” she said.
The Cashew Hill resident is known as a book worm and revealed it is her plan to either become a veterinarian or a doctor.
Her father Donnie Lewis said he was overcome with tears and a sense of pride when he realised just exactly what his youngest daughter achieved.
“I was very overwhelmed and I actually started to cry while I was at work. I was very proud of that because I know that she could have done it. I felt very proud. Up to this day I still am; I talk about it every day,” he mentioned.
Her mother Donecca said she was just excited for her daughter.
“I knew she would have passed. I always had the confidence in her because I saw all the hours she would stay up, sometimes even 1 o’clock in the morning just to get her work completed, so I knew she would have done well.”
Donella will be attending the Antigua Girls’ High School (AGHS) from September.