Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 07, 2015 (SKNIS): “Forging a new beginning…Commitment to Excellence” was the theme chosen for the 29th Academic Excellence Recognition Awards Ceremony, held on December 03, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, which highlighted the achievements of not only students but teachers who have set a high standard of excellence for others to follow.

Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards, commented at the event that “there is no more excellent activity, behaviour or service that man (woman) can engage in than to celebrate the exploits and heroics of its young people… Excellence must truly describe us and our achievements.”

“It shows how we as individuals and we as a people can and perhaps also rise above the average and the ordinary to transcend the perfunctory, to dispense with the cursory and the common and ever aim for the very highest and the very best,” he said.

The minister added that many persons, both young and old, are practicing, accepting and embracing mediocrity as a defining standard in many areas of endeavour. However, he is enthused that the event dismisses the myth that persons should settle for less. “Anything less than excellence is not good enough,” stated the minister.

The education minister made special commendations to the State Scholar, Christian Bryden and runner up, Tyler Martin; the student with the best CSEC results, Tassaney Sterinenbergen; the most outstanding student in humanities, Orwencia Hayes; the most outstanding student in business, Xavier-jon Bass and the most outstanding technical and vocational student, Nekhaila Tyson. The minister urged them to transfer their academic achievements to all aspects of their lives including their “deportment, their attitude and approach.”

“Whatever your next step in life will be, wherever you go, whatever you do, desire to characterize it with that which objectively and universally is better than good,” said the minister while addressing them. 

He also praised the schools’ principals and teachers as they played a significant role in ensuring that their students achieve academic excellence. The secondary school teachers who were awarded included Cornella Caines of Basseterre High; Iantha Burke of Cayon High; Rosemary Govia of Charles E. Mills Secondary; Hasib Hallim of Charlestown Secondary; Shirna Browne of Gingerland Secondary; Karina Wilson of Saddlers Secondary; Avalon Slack-Mills of Verchilds High; Prathibha Shankarappa of Washington Archibald High and Colin Frank of Immaculate Conception Catholic School.

The Ministry of Education expressed its gratitude to FlOW and the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce for sponsoring the event.

The Academic Excellence Recognition Awards Programme was introduced in 1986 by the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, following a recommendation from the MUKTI Fund, a US-based, community development foundation operating in the Federation at that time.  The programme was funded, in its first three years, by a grant from the Kellog Foundation in the USA.  When this initial funding was exhausted, the Chamber approached Cable & Wireless/FLOW – then SKANTEL – to assume sponsorship of the programme.  Upon strong recommendation of then Cable & Wireless Chairman, Mr. Tapley Seaton Q.C., present Governor General, the company undertook sponsorship of the annual academic recognition programme and has kept its promise for the past 26 years.



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