LeAnn Lewis - a confident English girl
Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
OLD HARBOUR BAY, St Catherine:
LEANN EBONY Lewis exudes poise and confidence. The easy-going 14-year-old Glenmuir High School third-form student oozes a self-assurance well beyond her years, having obtained English language in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) with distinction at age 12.
"English has always been my strong suit, so the English exam wasn't all that hard to prepare for. It was like I had a lifetime of preparation coming up," she smiled.
If that wasn't enough, she added social studies and electronic document and preparation management with grade two, and mathematics, with grade three, a year later.
"I try not to view an exam as anything to be nervous about. I just go into the exams and say 'What happens, happens'. I prepared and I'll get what I worked for," she shared with The Gleaner when we visited her at her home in Blackwood Gardens, Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine.
In the upcoming CSEC examinations, she will be sitting physical education, office administration, and human and social biology. When asked if she felt pressured, Lewis replied: "I think that pressure and stress is a state of mind, so what I do, I don't really think about it, and it always comes out all right."
For her father, Lascelles, LeAnn's academic performance is not surprising.
"From birth I knew that LeAnn is a gifted girl. She started out well, spelling and reading, and this is the reason why I decided to back her 100 per cent until death, and she has proven herself to be a great child," the proud father noted.
LeAnn's decision to give up certain social activities until she has accomplished her goals is admirable.
"Going out, she doesn't want that. Dressing up with earrings and those things, she doesn't want that. Each time that she achieves and she asks for anything, I make sure that I'm able to give it to her," said Lewis.
Equally proud of the aspiring lawyer's academic achievements is her mom, Shirley.
"LeAnn is a simple child, even though she has all these achievements. When she was graduating from Marlie Mount Primary, she got the highest marks overall in math and language arts. She got eight distinctions in first form at Glenmuir High. She has been doing us proud and any parent will feel good about that," she said.
Moreover, LeAnn is not just focused on academic excellence, but has successfully managed to balance this with her love for music.
"I taught myself how to play the guitar. For the keyboard, my father and my music teachers at both Monsignor Colin Bryan Prep and Marlie Mount taught me. My music teacher at Monsignor helped me with the recorder and then I branched off by myself. Then for the drums, that's just for recreation," explained the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's gold and silver medals winner.
LeAnn has performed at several public functions, including the National Housing Trust's Best Scheme Competition's ceremony at the Wyndham Hotel, as well as at funerals and weddings.
LeAnn pointed out that while her achievements are remarkable, they are not unattainable for others.
"Anybody can do what I have done, but it's just that most of them have their minds on other things, and I have my mind on like my music and my schoolwork. I think other things can come after, but this is what it is now for me," she said.
In her spare time, the articulate teen plays the guitar, watches TV, talks with friends, plays video games, and reads novels.
PHOTOS BY KAREN SUDU