Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
As Dea Thomas prepares to travel to Guyana to collect her award for being designated the top performer in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), two of her former school principals say they expected nothing less from the young woman they describe as "diligent, hard-working and humble".
Everton Walters, principal of Edwin Allen High in Clarendon, said Thomas was always very involved in school activities and was part of the school's quiz and debating teams.
Edwin Allen High was the first institution Thomas attended when she immigrated to Jamaica in 2007 with her family. She spent the first four years of secondary school at that institution.
Thomas, who managed to gain grade ones in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Caribbean studies, and communication studies, credited the rural Clarendon school for providing her with a solid foundation.
"That's where it all started," Thomas said. "They were warm and friendly and the teachers were super dedicated."
Walters said he now uses Thomas' achievements to inspire his current students.
Mohan Kumar, principal of Morant Bay High School in St Thomas, the institution Thomas attended after Edwin Allen High, said he wasn't shocked when he heard Thomas had copped the prize for top CAPE student in the region.
"I am not surprised. I always expected her to be at the top, either here in Jamaica or the region," Kumar said.
Thomas completed her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate at Morant Bay High, where she was named the top science student in the island for 2011.
However, her latest feat was accomplished during her tenure at Ardenne High School.
Last month, along with Thomas being named the top CAPE student in the region, Ardenne High was also declared the top-performing CAPE school in the Caribbean.
Thomas is expected to collect the Dennis Irving Award, for her performance, in Guyana early next month.