Abaco students who were chosen to represent Abaco at the Nation’s annual Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year (SOTY) ceremonies in Nassau paid a courtesy call on the Office of the Prime Minister on April 12.
Thirteen students from primary schools across Abaco were chosen based on their academics and work both in school and in the community covering from Grade 3 to Grade 6.
Montez Williams, Under-Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, received the students on behalf of the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis who, though expected to be there, had a change of plans and was unable to be there in person.
Mr. Williams also offered congratulations on behalf of the Parliamentary Secretary, and Central and South Abaco MP, James Albury.
Valerie Dean, Abaco representative for the Bahamas, told the students that the Governor General will present them with medals at the annual ceremony at Government House.
She said that the SOTY foundation has been around for 20 years, last year raising $185,000 to gift in scholarships to the top students in the country, adding that since its inception they have awarded $1.5 million in scholarships.
She said, “Every one of our (Abaco’s) nominees last year walked off the stage with a scholarship’” noting that it was the first time that has happened for Abaco and that they hope to do it again this year, as well as take the top student spot.
She reminded the children that “You are representing your school; you’re the best and the brightest of your school and of Abaco.”
Maddox Pinder was 2018’s runner up for Student of the Year and was awarded a $4000 scholarship and a laptop.
Maddox, speaking to 2019’s nominees, said that during his trip to Nassau for the SOTY Ceremonies the nominees went to Mario’s Bowling Alley and were treated to pizza “without parents there.”
They were also taken to the National Arts Museum where they were shown the variety of works on display. Their trip concluded at Government House for the awards ceremony, where he said “you wait, and you wait, and you wait some more; and then the ceremony begins.”
He added that “whenever you hear your name, whatever place you come, you need to be happy and thankful that you are there, representing the top person in your school, no matter what.”
He was also featured in the Colina Calendar – Bright Kids, Bright Futures – (September) which showcased 12 of the SOTY and their interests.
This year’s thirteen nominees are: Agape Christian School, Addison Albury; Long Bay School, Nya Been; Angel’s Academy, Jayce Bonnell; Moore’s Island Comprehensive School, Ra-My Burrows; James A. Pinder Primary, Shakur Fox; Amy Roberts Primary Public Vimara Jones; Cooper’s Town Primary, Kiara McIntosh; Hope Town Primary, Skylar Ogden; Treasure Cay Primary, Seriyah Parker; Man-O-War Primary, Caleb Sands; St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, Lauren Scriven; Central Abaco Primary, Ashley Smith; Fox Town Primary, Alicia Wilcombe.