GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer
Thirty-three students who churned out remarkable scores in this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) have reaped the benefits with government scholarships.
Revealing the GSAT scholarship winners yesterday afternoon, the Ministry of Education also announced that 49 other students were recipients of scholarships provided by businesses.
Eleven of the government scholarship awardees will attend Campion College, generally regarded as Jamaica's most elite high school.
The other 22 government scholarship winners will in September be attending Immaculate Conception, Mt Alvernia, Glenmuir, Montego Bay, Westwood, St Andrew, Manchester, Cornwall College, Wolmer's Boys, Munro College, Ardenne, Herbert Morrison Technical and William Knibb Memorial high schools.
Daniel Lawla of St Richard's Primary was the No. 1 male student islandwide, while Kadian Farquharson of Lannaman's Prep and Anya Chuck of Hosanna Kindergarten and Prep shared the honours for girls.
Lawla will attend Campion, Farquharson is headed to Immaculate and Chuck will go to Montego Bay High. The top students were awarded the Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation scholarships.
Elated at grades
Chuck said she was ecstatic about her achievement.
"I am overjoyed and thankful. I was expecting to do well, but not to this magnitude," said the beaming youngster, who averaged 99.6 in GSAT.
"I am looking forward to learning new things and to keeping up the hard work."
Her mother, Jacqueline Chuck, who was no less excited, said her daughter was a bookworm who always aimed for the best.
"It's a very good feeling. It is a special blessing. It goes to show that hard work pays off."
Mom thanked class teacher Tasha Lynch, whom she credited with investing a lot of time into turning Anya into a scholarship winner.
Daniel said he was surprised to learn he was the best of the boys with a 99.0 per cent average.
"I am excited. I wasn't expecting to be the top boy because (over the years) I wasn't top in my class, so when I heard that I am top boy, I was shocked," he told The Gleaner.
He vowed to continue to beat the books at his new school and also expressed appreciation for his teacher and parents.
His father, Ludlow, admitted that he hadn't expected Daniel to be king of the island in GSAT.
"I jumped for joy when I heard," the proud dad declared.
"A lot of praise must go out to his class teacher who put in a lot of extra work with him. We (his parents) also spent a lot of time, especially at the last minute, getting him prepared," he said.
The top four recipients of named government scholarships are Shaquille Crosse of Allman Town Primary School, who got the Marcus Garvey Scholarship; Jesse James of Black River Primary and Infant, who won the George William Gordon Scholarship; Hanif Brown of Airy Castle, who won the Paul Bogle Scholarship; and Jae-Anne Smith of St Richard's Primary School, who took home the J.A.G. Smith Scholarship.
Private-sector scholarship donors include Scotiabank, Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, Guardian Life, Petrojam Ltd, Horlicks and Jamaica National Building Society.
The top four scholarships awarded by the Government of Jamaica are valued at $180,000 each, while the other 28 scholarships are valued at $100,000 each.
Eulie Mantock, grade-six teacher at St Richard's, which snagged three scholarship winners this year, hailed her students' success.
She said that while the school has received scholarships every year since 2001, it was the first year they were producing the top boy.
"He is a hard worker and so I was expecting him to be on top," she said.
Farquharson, who The Gleaner highlighted on Monday, said she was looking forward to the new world of high school.