The Dept. of Education held its Annual District Awards Ceremony 2014 at New Vision Ministries on Feb. 5 under the theme: “Excellence for all…Yes, We Say So!”
Jessica Pierre and Desmondo Bootle of Abaco Central High School were the Masters of Ceremonies, and invited Felicia Roberts of Mary E. Albury High School to the stage to welcome the audience. Felicia’s welcome was complimented by Central Abaco Primary School’s Choir, as students sang a lively selection in Creole and English.
In her remarks, Dr. Lenora Black, District Superintendent, told students that while negative stories fill print and electronic media, she was pleased to highlight a story that speaks to students – our future leaders – who have discovered that God requires a more excellent way.
“This story has been told repeatedly on school campuses by the many students gathered today, who have been recognized by their hard work and due diligence displayed throughout the course of the previous school year.
“Our students would have demonstrated an acknowledgement of the essential role that excellence and discipline plays in the success of all their endeavours,” Dr. Black continued. “Discipline must be accompanied by an uncommon degree of dedication and determination.”
Dr. Black also extended thanks to the Ministry of Education and her technical team for their hard work. She admonished the students to encourage their friends to follow their good examples and to encourage the male students particularly as they take on true leadership positions as priest, provider and king.
“Be excellent in every aspect of your life and undertaking,” she urged. “These students are featured prominently because they deliberately chose a more excellent way.”
Audience members gave a standing ovation for Ronel Escarment of Every Child Counts following his rousing rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Next, Senior Education Officer Leslie Rolle recognized all corporate sponsors, which soon led to the presentation of awards. There were numerous National Competition and National Arts Festival winners along with Top Sports Achievement Awards for track and field, judo and swimming champions.
In track and field, gold medalists included: Daelin Delancy of Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS) in the 400 meters; Elta Charles of CAPS in the shot put; and Ure Mills of Fox Town Primary School captured the 100 meters and 200 meters at the Frank P. Rahming Primary Track and Field Nationals.
More gold medals were acquired at the Bahamas National Judo Championships by Ozeke Swain of Long Bay School; Maximus Andrews of St. Francis de Sales School; William Russell of Agape Christian School; John Pintard II of St. Francis; Sebastian Parr of Angel’s Academy; and Taryn Carroll of Angel’s Academy; Desmondo Bootle and Desmond Bootle of Abaco Central High School and Jonathan Strachan of St. Francis also earned gold medals at Barbados International Caribbean Championships. Dre Hall of ACH with a bronze medal in the US Open; Gold at the Bahamas Championships; 1 Silver and two gold medals at the Barbados Championships.
At the RBC Bahamas National Swim Meet, gold medals were awarded to Noah Albury of Man-O-War Primary; Carter Albury and Maddox Pinder of Agape Christian School; McKenzie Dam of Agape; Lilly Higgs of Forest Heights; Brayden Dam of Agape; and Miller Albury of Forest Heights in the 200 meter backstroke, 200 meter medley relay, 200 meter freestyle relay, 400 meter medley relay and 400 meter freestyle relay with bronze medals earned at CARIFTA in the 400 meter freestyle and medley relays.
Margaret Albury Higgs of Forest Heights gold medal listings were extensive: 50 meter breaststroke; 100 meter breaststroke; 200 meter IM relay, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle relay and medley relay; 400 meter freestyle, freestyle relay, IM relay, medley relay; and 800 meter freestyle. Higgs set two National Records at the CCCAN with two gold medals and one silver medal. She earned CARIFTA gold medals in the 200 meter IM; 50 meter breaststroke; 100 meter breaststroke; 200 meter breaststroke; and 400 meter IM relay. She was the top medal winner at CARIFTA on the Bahamas Team.
Thereafter the awards continued with GLAT, BJC and BGCSE Awards. For Grade 3, Dania Curry of Fox Town Primary School for Writing; Erica Roberts of Man-O-War Primary in Mathematics; and Declan John Bethel of Angel’s Academy in Language Arts. For Grade 6, Samuel Collie of Long Bay School in Language Arts; Scarlet Taylor of Agape in Writing Skills; Joey Gale and Khalea Richard of Hope Town Primary School in Writing Skills; Kaitlyn Russell of Treasure Cay Primary School; and Rashon Neymour of CAPS in Science and Social Studies.
Students with BJCs of five Bs or better: Kiara Tilus (Abaco Central High School); Giavanna Noel Manni (Mary E. Albury School); Briantae Kelly (Smith Memorial School); Vanessa Jean and Romea Rolle (S.C. Bootle High School); Giovanni Morris and Kyla Ann Harvey (Long Bay School); Cierra Carroll, Johanan Cartwright, Benjamin Higgs and Zoya Thompson (Agape Christian School); Joshua Archer, Macneisha Alfre, Marvin Cash, Jessica Knowles, Shawntalay McDonald, Ranisha Newbold, Abby-Gae Raymore, Alexis Sawyer, Raniece Smith and Falkeisha Thompson (St. Francis de Sales School); and Aurora Aitken, Christopher D. Albury, Isabella Albury, Landon Albury, Zavion Archer, Aaliyah Gibson, Margaret Albury Higgs, Jacob Hull, Nico Jonsson, Scott Lightbourn, Bailey McBride, Rakasha McIntosh, Isaac Miller, Trinard Missick, Andrew Pinder, Ayanna Pritchard, Madison Sands, Hannah Strachan, Dante Stuart and Savanah Williams (Forest Heights Academy).
In the BGCSE examinations, students earning 5 Bs or better: Jake Consulta and Charese Kemp (St. Francis); Olujimi Scott and Payton Stubbs (Abaco Central High School); Clydesha Cornish, Sherrie Romer and Shantell Bernadin (S.C. Bootle High School); and Miranda Albury, George Colby Cross, Amanda McIntosh, Alexandra Philpott and Rebecca Strachan (Forest Heights).
Overall Top District Winners: Dania Curry Top GLAT Grade 3; Joey Gale Top GLAT Grade 6; Vanessa Jean – Abaco’s Top BJC Public School Recipient; Margaret Albury Higgs – Abaco’s Top BJC Recipient in Private Schools. Sherrie Romer earned the Top BGCSE results for Abaco’s Public Schools (2 As and 5 Bs); and Rebecca Strachan obtained 8 As and 4 Bs for the Top Private School BGCSE results.
Overall Top National Winners were S.C. Bootle High School , which placed second nationally for the Most Improved GPA in Government Class B Schools (BGCSE); and Margaret Albury Higgs earned Top BJC Craft in the country; the award for Overall National Top BJC Student in Private Schools and Overall National Top BJC Student for 2013.