Tue | Sep 26, 2017

St Michael Primary's success stories

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2016 | 6:10 AM
St Michael Primary School's top GSAT students from left: Pebbles Watson, Matthew McLarty, Moesha Drummond and Aaliyah Kelly.

Due to the severe academic challenges Moyesha Drummond experienced as she

prepared for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), she surprised herself when she found out that she gained an 80 per cent average to move on to Excelsior High School in St Andrew.

Moyesha, a student at the St Michael's Primary School in downtown Kingston, told The Gleaner that her success is an indication that hard work pays off.

"The preparation for GSAT was stressful because I wasn't the brightest student in my class. I had to study very hard. Sometimes I felt sad and very lonely, but I thank God for my teachers, my principal and my best friend who helped me. My plan now is to remain focused and not waste any time," she said.

The school's principal, Juliet Campbell-McPherson, was even more overjoyed as she reflected on the struggles Moyesha had to overcome.

"Moyesha is a success story. She has had to endure poor conditions ócoming from a single family home with mommy not working ó it was tough. I'm really proud of her," she said.

According to Campbell-McPherson, Matthew McLarty also had a similar start to that of Moyesha. He also has excelled beyond expectation, having received an 81 per cent average.

Great growth

"Matthew could not read a sentence without stuttering. We were worried about him because up to grade four, he was at a 25 per cent average, and so, especially when he was to do the Grade Four Literacy Test, we weren't sure what to expect," she told The Gleaner.

"Despite his struggles, however, I must point out that he was never lazy; he always showed interest in his work. We paired him with another student to read and he was the first one to get a book and made the effort. I am extremely proud of his progress."

Matthew, who also gained a place at Excelsior High School, said he is grateful to everyone who supported him.

"My teacher always pushed us to achieve my potential. Science is not my favourite subject so I was really shocked when I saw my grades," he said.

Pebbles Watson was determined not to allow her humble beginnings to deter her from achieving greatness.

This resulted in her gaining a 91 per cent average in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) to acquire a space at the St Andrew High School for Girls.

In an interview with The Gleaner, she said it was the support of her mother and her school family at St Michael's Primary School in downtown Kingston that contributed to her success.

"It was really rough for me because throughout the school year my grades fluctuated. Sometimes I would have a 90 per cent average, another time it would drop to 76 per cent, so I had some challenges. I have to thank my teachers though as they were supportive and made sure that I did my best," said the resident of Rae Town in Kingston.

Focus

"My plan for high school is just to focus on my work, not so much making friends. I play softball and I found out that St Andrew High School for Girls has a good softball programme, so I automatically said that I would choose that school as my first choice," she said.

Similarly, Aaliyah Kelly achieved a 90 per cent average and will be moving on to Ardenne High School in St Andrew.

"Preparation was hard because I had to study late nights and get up very early in the mornings. My parents and teachers were very helpful. My plan is to do my very best at Ardenne High School, remain focused so that I develop myself as a person and be successful in life," Aaliyah said.

Juliet Campbell-McPherson, principal of the school, said she is proud of her students, noting that overall this is one of her better years.

"In previous years, when we go for the results we just look for that one student who we think would do well. When I went for the results and saw over four students gaining good averages and gaining places at traditional high schools, I couldn't stop screaming," she declared.