The Forest Heights Academy Falcons participated in the Junior Junkanoo Parade in Nassau on December 13, 2014 and marched out with first place. Two Falcon members even won the King and Queen of the National Parade: Casiah Pinder and Rocky Thompson.
In a short ceremony held on the school grounds, Lori Thompson, acknowledged all the people who had made the school’s victory possible, from teachers and students to community members.
The audience included not only the school Principal, James Richard and many teachers, but members of the District Department of Education, among them Dr. Lenora Black, the local Press as well as many parents and well-wishers basking in the success of the small, Family Island school. Lori Thompson congratulated her Junkanoo group and distributed the awards.
Certificates and trophies were awarded to the students in several categories, including the Most Captivating Performer, the Most Energetic Dancer, the Most Improved Dancer, the Most Dedicated Junkanoo Member, the Most Dedicated Musicians, the Most Improved Musicians, the Most Dedicated Costume Artist and the Most Supportive Junkanoo Members.
The Best Free Dancers, Casiah Pinder and Megan Bootle, were acknowledged as were the Officers of the school Junkanoo Committee and outsiders who supported the group by giving their time or other contributions, such as Glender Knowles, Gilbert Davis and Marvin Russell.
First places and honorable mentions were awarded in each category.
The first place for Captivating Performer went to Rocky Thompson, the second place to Casiah Pinder.
The Most Energetic Dancers were Priscilla Bain and Tallia Davis, with Naejha Williams receiving an honourable mention.
The Most Improved Dancers were Paige Pinder, honourable mention to Makayla McIntosh.
The Most Dedicated Junkanoo Members’ first place went to Aaliyah Gibson; the honorable mention went to Rayvyn McKinney.
Julius Thompson received the first place for the Most Dedicated Musician; the honourable mention was given to Edvon Stuart.
In the Most Improved Musicians category, the first place was awarded to Sujith Swarna; the honourable mention went to Andrew Hanna.
Most Dedicated Costume Artists were Tallia and Leota Davis who received a joint first place; two brothers, Pavel and Jovan Bailey shared the honourable mention.
Tano Rolle who practiced with the band on a daily basis was declared the Most Supportive Junkanoo Member; Leota Davis received the honourable mention.
The Lead Dancers were Hannah Strachan, Aaliyah Gibson, Kettia Knowles and Ladinamae Durham. The Lead Musicians were Tano Rolle and Terrell Johnson.
The Committee officers each received a certificate; they were Hannah Strachan, Pres., Cassiah Pinder, V.Pres., Jonnajah Bootle, Secretary and Drelexia Bootle, Treasurer.
A group of Abaco Central High School and ECC students who had participated in the parade joined the ceremony and were also acknowledged for their contributions.
The best was still to come for the members of the school Junkanoo group, as they were to participate in a motorcade going through town. As the award ceremony ended, the students rushed to the front of the school where trucks, buses and cars decorated with balloons awaited them.
The students climbed in the back of the trucks, the musicians holding their instruments, some playing, others waving, and soon with the assistance of a police officer, the motorcade made its way on Don Mackay Boulevard.
Business people came out to wave; at the traffic light children from Angels Academy cheered at them and they fellow classmate, Rocky Thompson. Slowly the motorcade made its way to the Port returning to the school through Forest Drive, the participants enjoying their success.