Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:
SHE HAS set the bar high for herself and even with the weight of expectation on her shoulders, 10-year-old Leanna Garrick of St Ann's Bay Primary School expects to do well not just in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) but in her chosen career, doctor, later on.
Exhibiting eloquence quite beyond her years, Leanna said she was happy to be chosen as the Gleaner GSAT Journeys student representative for her school.
"I feel really happy because it's my first time being interviewed or something like that, so I feel really excited. I am also very surprised because I don't know how I was chosen," said Leanna.
In three end-of-term examinations last academic year, Leanna averaged 96.1 for language arts, 91.6 for mathematics, 89.6 for science, 85.3 for social studies and 84, communication task.
She expects to improve on her performance over the next six months leading up to the GSAT in March 2013.
"I am studying hard and I expect to perform great. I am expecting a scholarship and I would like to go to Westwood High School," she revealed.
Leanna has already designed her study timetable which will guide her progress leading up to GSAT. She will study up to an hour or two most nights, but makes allowance for Schools' Challenge Quiz, both junior and high school versions.
Grade-six teacher Paul Campbell is one of the persons expecting Leanna to perform well.
"I am expecting great things from her," Campbell declared. "Leanna is a very focused, very detailed individual, very attentive and she has high aspirations for herself in terms of her academic performance, and in terms of where she wants to be, say, in a couple of months, years from now. She has her goals set and she's working towards them."
Leanna's dad, Orville, said his daughter has full family support and he also expects her to do well in the GSAT.
"We spent time with her and she has developed into a child that enables us to be so proud that our whole family sees her as the bright star and we work with her in that regard," Garrick said.
Guidance counsellor at St Ann's Bay Primary, Monique Anderson-Coke, who is the facilitator for the GSAT Journeys at the school, said Leanna's academic history points to a good performance in the GSAT.
Despite the high expectations, Leanna still finds time to relax.
"Sometimes I read and sometimes I surf the Internet, or watch TV and sometimes I just decide to take a nap," Leanna said.