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TSSS making a name for itself – positively

TSSS making a name for itself – positively

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Although the Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS) is one of the country’s youngest educational institutions, it has already forged a name for itself and St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Using the buildings of the former Richmond Hill Government School, the TSSS was established in 2005 and is known as the first Vincentian school to participate in the Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia, USA.

Principal John Renton told SEARCHLIGHT that since 2011, a team from the institution has participated in the world renowned track and field event.

“One of our crowning glories in athletics would be our participation at the Penn Relay Carnival, which is held in April in Philadelphia,” he said proudly.

“It’s a very prestigious event that has been going on for over 100 years. But our school is the first participant from St Vincent. Schools in Jamaica have been participating since the 1960s and it’s been one of the crucibles in which athletes like Usain Bolt has been formed”.

The many shiny trophies sitting gloriously in the principal’s office, are testament to the school’s outstanding performances in sporting activities.

In fact, Renton noted that students are involved in a range of sports, including football, netball, cricket, volleyball and basketball.

“For the last four years, Thomas Saunders has always been one of the placing schools in Inter-School Athletics. Last year, our boys came in first and our girls were in the third position,” Renton boasted.

Physical education teacher Godfrey Harry is of the view that the TSSS has set a high standard for track and field in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We are a pretty young school…we have set a trend especially in the area of track and field…all the other schools they now coming for Thomas Saunders,” Harry, who has over 25 years’ experience as a coach, said.

For students who may not be interested in sports, TSSS offers several extra-curricular activities including the Environmental Club, Drama Club or Choir.

Besides taking part in the Drama Festival every year, the institution also had two entries in this year’s Secondary Schools’ Calypso competition. Moesha “Chowder” Thomas scooped up the third position for her alma mater with “Clean Dem Up”.

Earlier this year, TSSS students showed that they are truly “Striving for Excellence”, when they broke their own record for passes at the CSEC examinations. The amiable principal attributes this to the dedication of his 28 teachers, students and their parents.

“Every year since our first outing at CSEC since 2010, we have improved our pass rate and so now we have a pass rate of 80.3 per cent,” the principal said.

“Last year I put out the challenge to the students that I wanted them to break the 80 per cent barrier of excellence and they were able to achieve it and thanks to the professionalism and dedication of the teaching staff and encouragement from their parents”.

Currently, the school, which is located in Richmond Hill, adjacent to the Peace Memorial Hall, offers 22 different subject areas to its 510 students. Renton noted that it is important for every student to do subjects that they are comfortable with.

“We have 22 subjects that we present at CSEC, so we try to give our students a broad curriculum, so that they can find the area which interests them, in which they are comfortable and in which they want to develop their career. So we have the technical subjects, we have the sciences, we have the arts and business subjects well represented,” he said.

Having started out with only first form classes in the buildings of the old primary school, the school has also developed physically over the years. A new block, which was recently constructed, is home to a fully functioning computer lab, nine additional classrooms and an almost complete science lab.

The school was named after Thomas Saunders, an outstanding educator who was responsible for the reintroduction of Credit Unionism to the country.

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