CUL DE SAC–Two St. Maarten Academy students placed the country in the top- ten-subject ranking at the May/June 2015 regional Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
This is a first-time accomplishment for St. Maarten, said Head of the Division of Examinations Yvette Halley, who is also Local Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), under which CSEC falls.
Jabari York ranked fourth in Music, and Jieyi Liang ninth in Mathematics in the region out of thousands of candidates from 19 territories. They both earned grade ones with straight “A” profiles in their respective subjects. “This is a major accomplishment for the teens,” Academy said in a press release on Sunday.
“This is also the first time that St. Maarten has offered Music as a CSEC examination subject. This is an accomplishment to be proud of as a country and one to be continued,” Halley wrote to Education Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs on Friday.
The achievement is especially significant for Academy’s new principal Tallulah Baly-Vanterpool, who took over the helm of the institution in 2014, and launched a mission with her new management team to take the Academy to higher heights by improving the quality of passes, the school said in the release. Her signature theme is “choose excellence” and that call was not only for students but also for teachers and parents alike, because “together we achieve more,” the principal said.
Baly-Vanterpool, recognising the musical talents of Jabari – the younger son of steel-pannist Isidore “Mighty Dow” York, pushed to help him succeed “at all costs.
“Together with the school’s music teacher Dennis Tjon, the principal contacted veteran CXC music teacher Mrs. Jacobs-Richardson of Anguilla, to help prepare Jabari for the examination which included performance, arranging and composing an original piece, as well as listening and appraising. The teachers were heartened by Jabari’s willingness to do the work without complaint.”
Liang, a science student, “demonstrated great work ethics from the time she entered the school. She was dedicated, determined and a hard-working student, thus her placement in the region is well deserved,” Baly-Vanterpool said.
Liang wrote nine subjects at CSEC, securing three ones in Mathematics, Additional Mathematics and Physics; three twos in Information Technology, Biology and Chemistry; and three grade threes in Human and Social Biology, English A, and Spanish. She also earned a C grade in the Cambridge IGCSE examination in Dutch.
Baly singled-out teachers of Mathematics Alberick Arrendell – Head of Department, Olatunde Dalrymple who prepared Liang for the Mathematics and Additional Mathematics exams, Iris Derrick, Suja Pereppadan and Darelyn Santos all for jobs well done.
St. Maarten Academy entered 82 candidates in 18 subject areas for the May/June 2015 regional exams. Close to half, 48 per cent, of the candidates secured grade one passes in Mathematics, an improvement from 29 per cent the previous year; while 25 – 31 per cent got grade two in the subject, up from 28 per cent in 2014. This made the Department of Mathematics, one of nine in the school, the top performing department.
“I am happy that we have a principal who fosters an environment that allows teachers to be free creatively in challenging our students to think outside the box and strive for excellence,” said Arrendell.
There is a six-point grading scheme for CSEC, with grade one being the highest a candidate can attain. According to CXC, a grade one shows that the candidate has “a comprehensive grasp of key concepts, knowledge, skills and competencies required by the syllabus.” A grade two shows the candidate has a “good” grasp of those descriptors. Most universities accept grades one, two and three at the general and technical proficiencies for matriculation. Academy only submits candidates for the general proficiency.
“I would like to recognise the FAVE Board, all teachers, parents and students who made this achievement possible. They took that leap of faith with us just over a year ago and trusted that we would steer the Academy in the right direction. This achievement is a proud moment for all of us,” the principal said.
Source: The Daily Herald Academy in top ten ranking in CSEC Math, Music exams