'Stella-perfect' performance from Immaculate-bound Shaneil
Well-rounded and equipped with a winning mentality, Shaneil Miles' journey to perfect scores in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) required not only sacrifice and sleepless nights, but a battle against anxiety that only intensified as the exam drew closer.
Still, the almost-certain scholarship recipient, who takes her seat at Immaculate Conception High come September, was always building towards a grand finish.
"First term I got 96.8 per cent, then it was 97 per cent and then 99 per cent, but I was still very shocked that I got perfect scores in GSAT," the Stella Maris Preparatory student told The Gleaner, further explaining her apprehension towards communication task and science.
"In addition to being very tired in the days leading up to GSAT, I was so nervous that I cried right before the communication task paper. I wasn't sure if I was going to get an essay or a story, and I don't really like essays, I'm better at stories, so I was very relieved when I found out that I was writing a story," she explained.
The cheerful 12-year-old with a deep love for birds credited her perfect performance to a mix of exceptional teaching, family support and the balance she struck between academics and extracurricular activities.
"This would not be possible without my mom and Ms Broughton. My mother is always there at home pushing me and encouraging me to do my best, and I have an amazing teacher. Even my 10-year-old sister played a part because she quizzed me a lot with social studies and science, which was one of my weak areas. I was also involved in quite a few sports - netball, track, swimming - and that really helped my time management," she articulated.
Shaneil's exploits come just one year after Jada Grey and Zorian Facey, both from Stella Maris Preparatory, also topped GSAT with perfect scores.
Speaking to Shaneil's success, her teacher Natalee Broughton labelled her a fighter and leader who always strive for perfection.
"She's always been a very good, rounded student and she doesn't like to lose. So even when she does sports, she wants to win, and it's the same attitude she has in class. We weren't hell-bent on her getting perfect scores but we knew she had the potential," said Broughton.