Jamaican tops Caribbean region in CSEC sciences. Proud moment for mother and son
Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator
TO HAVE a student from your school named the most outstanding in sciences in the entire region in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations is a proud achievement. But when that student is also your son, tears of joy would undoubtedly flow alongside that overwhelming pride.
When Megan Berry, acting principal at Manning's School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, got the Caribbean Examinations Council's CSEC 2014 report, she expected the school to be featured prominently, as usual, with outstanding performances.
However, when she saw that her son, 17-year-old Nile Anderson, had won the regional award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in the sciences, she could barely contain her excitement as she ran from her office to find him.
"I wanted to scream 'Yes!' sitting in my chair and reading the report, but I couldn't," Berry shared with laughter, speaking with The Gleaner on Tuesday.
"I just ran out of my office right away to find him in his class. But when I went, he was doing an experiment and the teacher said 'Sorry, but you can't see him now'. I was so excited, I broke the news to the teacher and the first set of students at the front. I was so happy, excited."
Anderson declared, with laughter, "When I saw the principal call me out of class, I was wondering if it was bad news, but I saw her smiling and, when she told me, I was so happy, I ran and shouted it to my friends and all over the place."
He added: "It was a feeling of euphoria. I feel very elated to know that my hard work really paid off, and to see the results from it. I saw some of the results of the hard work already, and then to find this out now. I was shocked at first, and then now I am so happy to know everything I have done has paid off.
"I am just going to use it to push me to work much harder, because now I know that whatever I put my mind to, I can achieve. I will just continue working hard, keep focused, and do the best I can."
Anderson earned top grades in 16 CSEC subjects - grade one in 13 subjects and grade two in three others. Overall, the brilliant young man now has 19 CSEC subjects, copping two grade ones and a grade two while he was in second and third forms.
He is among the Jamaican students who dominated the Caribbean ranking in the June 2014 CSEC examinations. Jamaica copped 161 top-10 positions in 30 subjects, followed by Trinidad and Tobago with 109 positions.
The regional ranking shows Jamaican students leading in mathematics, Caribbean history, religious education and information technology, among other subjects. The local students particularly excelled in technical and vocational subjects, including agricultural science, food and nutrition, home economics, building technology, and electrical/electronic technology.
Berry said she had always had great expectations for her son, and she was happy he lived up to those expectations.
"From he was a year old I have been telling him that he was a university baby because he was always with me when I was doing my own studies. So I believed that that early exposure should have ignited something in him, that zest for learning. I also tried my best to provide him with an enriched environment that would encourage him to learn as much as possible," she said.
"I am really happy for him and I hope he moves on to higher heights. He has set the bar very high for others who are to come after him."
Manning's High ranked among the top schools with outstanding performances in this year's CSEC.
The acting principal shared that Manning's has always had a culture of excellence and that the students have always done very well. "So I expected no less and we are very, very proud of our students," said Berry, who has been acting principal since September, after 19 years at the school.
Anderson had high praises for his teachers, who he said were, "fantastic, great. They actually care about all the children. They would never leave a child behind, I can tell you that for a fact."
Moving on to sixth form to further his studies in the sciences, Anderson is well on his way to achieving his dreams of a career in robotics engineering. Still, he is also considering the field of paediatric medicine.