Sandy Bay Primary’s top boy and girl shine with ambition
Twelve-year-old Thenarda Dawes and 11-year-old Nathan Billings, both of Sandy Bay, Hanover, have proven themselves to be ambitious youngsters with big dreams, having established themselves as Sandy Bay Primary School’s top-performing girl and boy in the recent Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.
Thenarda copped the school’s position as the top girl with a 98 per cent average in the PEP sitting, while Nathan became the school’s top boy with a 90 per cent average.
Thenarda, who will be attending the Mt Alvernia High School in neighbouring St James, was gushing with pride as she told The Gleaner about her initial reactions to her achievement and about her preparations leading up to the exam.
“I feel very proud of myself. I felt a bit surprised and happy when I found out I was the top girl, and I was ecstatic,” said Thenarda, who aspires to be a mathematician, a geologist, a meteorologist, or an astrologist. “I studied a lot in the days, in the evenings, and sometimes in the night, to prepare for the exams. I had to do the online classes as well, and going online was hard at first, but I went through it.”
Nathan, who will be attending Jamaica College in Kingston and wants to become a pilot, credited his high academic performance to the support of his parents and teachers.
“I feel proud of myself for becoming the top boy. I had expected it, because my parents and teachers were pushing me hard, for me to work hard, and that is the reason why I am the top boy right now,” said Nathan.
Perronet Hall-Riley, the acting principal of Sandy Bay Primary School, had high words of praise and commendation for both children. She noted that Nathan had to overcome a few hurdles with online classes prior to sitting the PEP exam, while Thenarda had a significant reasoning skill far above her peers that helped her to excel.
“I am feeling very elated for the two of them, especially Nathan, as he was having challenges with the online learning, but after much encouragement and prodding, he picked himself up. When I saw his score, I was elated, because when he started he was dropping back, but then he picked up and took off,” said Hall-Riley.
“As for Thenada, having watched her grow over the years, it is amazing to see that she got a 98 per cent average. When I spoke to her during the period before the exam, she was reasoning above her peers, and I said to the teachers that she was going to do well,” Hall-Riley added.