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Shoinna rewarded for achieving against odds

Shoinna rewarded for achieving against odds


Shoinna Ellus Stewart, a former student of the Campden Park Secondary School (Bethel High School), has been described as someone who epitomizes the Education Revolution taking place in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

Stewart was on Friday, April 2, recognized as the 2016 top performer after remediation, in the May/June Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations. She received her award during the annual Ministry of Education FLOW national awards ceremony, which was held at the lecture theatre building at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) at Villa.

Miriam Pompey, principal of the Bethel High School (BHS), in a citation said that Stewart, now a student of the SVGCC was given lemons in life but instead of giving up, she made lemonade.

It was revealed that Shoinna spent two years in grade six at the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School after she was unsuccessful at the Common Entrance Exam, a time that was made worse by negative words and health challenges.

“…But Shoinna’s indomitable spirit allowed her to remain focused on her goals. Therefore, in the container of ambition, she used the spoon of hard work to mix the bitter lemon juice of failure with the water of self-belief and perseverance, the sugar of positivity, and the essence of humility and compassion towards others. This resulted in a concoction that would be chilled for five years in the refrigerator of the Bethel High School,” said Pompey.

During her sojourn at secondary school, Shoinna became involved in the Red Cross, the Young Leaders programme and steel pan playing. She gained passes in nine out of ten subjects in the 2016 CSEC examinations.

Said Pompey, “as a result, when asked about what motivates her to succeed, she simply replies with her winsome smile, “I have been told all my life that I will never succeed; I will drop out of school. Therefore, these negative words have motivated me to prove these speakers wrong, and make my parents proud.”

Shoinna, the daughter of Amy Stewart and Hyrone Johnson, was moved to tears while standing to collect her award from Country Manager of LIME Wayne Hull.

The FLOW national awards ceremony is held annually to recognize the scholastic achievement of the nation’s students in the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) and CSEC examinations.

Also rewarded last Friday was the top male student after remediation Simeon Cumberbatch, formerly of the Dr. J. P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School. He had eight subject passes in last year’s CSEC examinations.

During the ceremony, Luke Wilson, formerly of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School, was awarded for being the top CPEA performer of 2016. The other nine students in the top 10 of the CPEA, as well as the top CXC/CSEC performers from each secondary school were rewarded.

Students who gained five, six, seven, eight and nine subjects after remediation as well as students with 11, 12, 13 and 14 subject passes also received trophies while the top male performer Eric Febuary (formerly of the Mountain View Adventist Academy) received an award. Febuary passed 20 subjects.

Present also was the 2016 top female performer Marselena Melville, formerly of the Girls’ High School (GHS), who successfully wrote 10 subjects.

The St Martin’s Secondary School was recognized as the school with the most improved results while the Barrouallie Secondary School was the school with the best results after remediation. The school with the best CSEC results overall was the GHS.

The event heard remarks from Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Chief Education Officer Beverly Neptune and Country Manager at LIME Wayne Hull, among others.