Morant Bay teen excels with 12 distinctions in CSEC
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
FROM THE tender age of six, Janel Garwood made a promise to her mother not to waste her time at school.
Garwood has since been excelling at all levels during her school journey which saw her taking the top student award at Morant Bay High School in St Thomas, after gaining 12 distinctions in the recent Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
The 17-year-old was among several students at the institution who performed extremely well, making the high school one of the standouts in the examinations.
Joan Anderson, Garwood's mother, said despite the struggle, she expected nothing but the best from her daughter.
"I remember I encountered some serious financial problems while she was attending prep school (Providence Preparatory School), and I broke down in tears and she wiped my eyes and promised me that she will not let my money go to waste, and she has kept that promise," Anderson told The Gleaner.
"She has always been a focused child and one who always finds opportunities to help students as well, and I expect her to continue on the same path," she declared.
Marsha Ford Bryan, year supervisor for the fifth-form group at the school, who pointed to the 100 per cent pass rate in agricultural science and an over 80 per cent pass rate in English language, mathematics and the sciences, said the students have made the institution proud.
"We have been doing well over the years, but this year we made an extra effort in motivating students and we have reaped the benefits of that," she said.
"No longer will we keep it a secret because we have always been doing well in the east. Students have always been getting between eight and 14 subjects. We had 21 students who did the math exam in fourth form and we received 100 per cent pass in one sitting and 18 distinctions, and that motivated the fifth form students," Ford Bryan said.
She pointed out that there were some hurdles that made pre-parations for the examinations challenging.
"The school also encountered some serious challenges as well. We have students who lost their parents and close relatives, we changed three principals, a student died also, and overall there were some rough patches, but we managed and everyone came on board to assist each other," she said.
"We have a wonderful bunch of teachers who make every effort to be there for students, and what keeps us going is the fact they (teachers) always want to do better than the year before, and we work together very well as a school," Ford Bryan declared.