Daynia brings GSAT glory to Nonsuch - Despite setback, Deans had set her sights on success
Faced with the challenge of attending classes without lunch money, 11-year-old Daynia Deans has defied the odds by becoming the highest achiever in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) at Nonsuch Primary since the school's inception.
Deans, who hails from Nonsuch, arguably one of the most depressed communities in Portland, reportedly endured severe hardships, surviving only through a meagre financial support from her mother in a single-parent setting.
"She is a young and determined student," said Christine Parkes, grandmother of the successful student.
"Having no lunch money at times compounded the challenges, but she was determined to do well. Yes, there were days when she would go hungry, whilst other students had lunch, but that was by no means a deterrent to her, as it motivated her even more to do well," Parkes recounted.
Additionally, her grandmother recalled that Daynia prepared a study schedule that she followed closely and revised regularly.
Deans is the first of two children for her mother, Samantha Everett, who was absent when The Gleaner visited the school. However, our news team learned that the single parent supported her wholeheartedly, despite the limited resources at their disposal.
"It comes as no surprise that Daynia did very well in GSAT," commented Marlise Cowie Adiansingh, principal of the school.
She added: "I conditioned 12 students for GSAT and extra classes were held each afternoon after school. Even when no one else turns up for extra class, Daynia was always present. We have a major crisis at the school, as there is no Internet available. Daynia completes here homework on time but her biggest fear was mathematics.
Eleven-year-old Daynia Deans suffered a major setback days before the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) but this did not dampen her quest to achieve excellence.
Principal of Nonsuch Primary School, Marlise Cowie Adiansingh, told The Gleaner that two days before the exam, Daynia lost the use of her glasses when it broke.
Adiansingh, who heaped praise on the student, pointed out that Daynia's GSAT results make her the highest achiever in the history of the school. She scored 90 per cent in mathematics, 98 per cent in social studies, 97 per cent in science, 94 per cent in language arts, and 11 in communication task.
But for Daynia, who was pleased with her performance, losing her glasses at that time was probably the motivating factor behind her success.
"At first, I was a bit tense," said Deans, noting that the "many weeks and months spent in preparing for GSAT were still fresh in my mind. The only thing on my mind was to do my best, as my principal instructed me to do just that. And although mathematics is my weakest subject area, I gave it my best shot. Come September, I will be attending Titchfield High, which is the school of my first choice."
And, while the school is in a celebratory mood, the need for additional classrooms is evident, with one building housing the 65 student population.
Currently, classes are held in a church building, which, according to the principal, is quite chaotic at times for students and teachers, as the four classrooms are parted using only chart boards.
Additionally, the school is without a perimeter fence, which allows for the easy access of persons, walking through the schoolyard unannounced and unsupervised.