Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Mr and Ms Edith Dalton James crowned - Pageant helps build confidence among students

Published:Friday | December 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMDavid Salmon/Contributor
Mr and Ms Edith Dalton James 2018, Malcolm Baxter and Danay Wright.
Contestants in the Mr and Ms Edith Dalton James Pageant.
Contestants in the Mr and Ms Edith Dalton James Pageant.
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The annual Edith Dalton James High School Pageant had its second staging last Friday as the school pushed forward with an event that sought to provide students with personal and professional support in order to become confident, well-rounded and conscious individuals.

At this year's staging, Malcolm Baxter and Danay Wright emerged victorious from a competitive field of 20 students.

Being conscious of the school's immense potential, principal, Orlando Worges sought an avenue to highlight his students' incredible potential.

"Our school is known for the talent it produces. Last year alone, we got over 50 medals and awards at JCDC ... ," Worges said.

"The pageant is something that we use to help the students to showcase their talent. It is an event for students by students."

This spirit of inclusivity is reflected throughout the planning and execution of the event. One individual directly involved in the event's execution was Sharonne Shand, the current student-council president.

Shand said that despite the initial difficulty in organising such an event, the results are reflected in the impressive performances of the students.

"If you want to be a good actor, then Edith Dalton James High School is the school for you," she said.

This glowing assessment proved to be no exaggeration as the audience was treated to sign language performances, dancing, dub poetry, acting, musical renditions, and singing.

Shamoy McFarlane, the current head girl and a former Ms Edith Dalton James herself, moved the audience with her acting ability.

She credited the competition with building her overall confidence and breaking down her reservations about public speaking.

McFarlane added that since winning the inaugural pageant, she has been seen as a source of motivation for younger students and feels further equipped to make a difference in society by serving as a police officer. Moreover, she currently serves as an ambassador for her school in various speech and drama competitions while simultaneously tackling her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate programme, even passing her first subject in fourth form.

 

ADVICE FOR YOUTH

 

Her advice for other young students is, "Believe in yourself and have fun in everything that you do."

This enthusiasm is further matched by Baxter, the newly crowned Mr Edith Dalton James High.

He supported the confidence-building reputation of the competition while expressing that he is now not afraid to do anything.

Baxter plans to become a teacher in order to educate the upcoming men and women of society. His advice for students is to "keep on pressing as you can only be transformed through education".

The students' performances support Worges vision for Edith Dalton James High to be "the school of choice" for students.

This vision manifested itself in training of the future models. Interested students received an etiquette book and continuous lessons on maintaining good posture and public-speaking skills, among others. The contestants were introduced to a range of issues through the questions asked in relation to matters such as cultural awareness, the importance of extracurricular activities, and the usefulness of social media.

Said Worges: "The monies that come from this event will be sponsoring students to help pay for exam fees ... . The proceeds from the previous year were used to implement smart televisions in all our grade-seven classrooms and to make the campus wireless-connected in order to provide a better learning environment for our students."

This success was achieved through the school partnering with various stakeholders, including EduCom Cooperative Credit Union, National Commercial Bank, Nestle Jamaica, D'Elegance Car Rental, Chalcass Medals and Trophies Limited among other bodies.