Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Academic excellence was celebrated last Thursday as 90 high-school students from across Jamaica received the Association of Principals and Vice-Principals Award for outstanding academic performances in their external examinations at a ceremony in Montego Bay.
In her address, Barbara Hume, head of Underwriting and Collections Unit for National Commercial Bank, urged students to make excellence a way of life as it would go well with nation building and self-development.
"Your success is pivotal to Jamaica's economic success and growth. You have proven with hard work and determination that it can be done," said Hume. "You should use that drive throughout all the stages of your life to succeed and do well.
"The academic and professional field is vastly competitive. Gone are the days when CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) passes alone would assure anyone a career. We now have to plan beyond high-school education and begin to look at the tertiary and vocational levels," added Hume.
The Association of Principals and Vice-Principals Award ceremony was hosted at the Hilton Resort & Spa in Montego Bay and honoured students who did exceptionally well in their Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and CSEC examinations.
According to Shanna-Kaye Laing, one of the awardees, who is now pursuing sixth-form studies at Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay, the award is testament that once you put in the work, the results will reflect the level of preparation and what you have done.
"I am truly honoured to have received this award. To prepare for CAPE is no easy task and to be recognised for my hard work is very encouraging," said Laing. "The support from my mother continues to be the pillar of my success. I want to extend my gratitude to her for all she has done in ensuring my educational pursuits are met."
Laing is no stranger to academic success as in addition to her five distinctions at CAPE, she secured eight distinctions at the CSEC level while she attended Mount Alvernia High School, and had won an award for maintaining 75 per cent average throughout high school.
The ambitious Laing, who is the daughter of Gleaner employee Andrea Rose, intends to pursue a degree programme in natural sciences.