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Golden Eagles soaring

L.W. Young principal on a mission to have 100 students on honor roll annually
SHAVAUGHN MOSS
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
shavaughn@nasguard.com

Published: May 01, 2013

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L.W. Young Junior School principal Janet Nixon is on a mission — and for the immediate future, it’s to see 100 students named to the school’s honor roll list each year — that from the school leader who met 25 students on the honor roll and five students on the principal’s list of a student body population of 1,1,04 when she took charge of the school three school years ago.

When Nixon took over the helm of the school on Bernard Road in 2009 she said that her initial feeling was that there was more that could have been done, especially when she looked at the positive scroll which showed just over 60 students who just needed an extra push to make it to the honor roll. And between 35 to 40-percent of the students she said had failing Grade Point Averages (GPA) of 1.50 or lower.

Students with GPAs of 3.60 to 4.00 are considered principal’s list. Students with GPAs of 3.00 to 3.49 are honor roll students and students with GPAs of 2.75 to 2.99 are considered positive scroll students.

Three years after she sat in the school’s “oval office” 11 students are on the principal’s list; the honor roll boasts 61 students and 75 students are positive scrolled.

“It really makes me feel good,” said Nixon of the improvements at the junior school. But she said looking at the positive scrolled students makes her realize they can do more.

“They are on the cusp, and just need that little push to go over. My goal is to get 100 students at any given time onto the honor roll annually,” said Nixon who heads up the school that currently has a student population of 791.

To motivate and reach the students, Nixon, the school’s head guidance counselor Marsha Bartlett and the staff took to the streets with the goal of getting to the parents to partner with them to encourage the students.

Their first community weekend walk took place in the Kemp Road area in 2011. They spoke to parents of students that resided in that community. The result she said was a slight improvement. Last year and again this year they walked through the Fox Hill community. She believes that the walk that took place just prior to the Christmas break to hand out flyers on which they had printed examination schedules helped to make the students settle down and study, because they knew their parents were informed.

“The first year we saw like probably a 1.5 percent improvement. The following year we went up like 2.5 percent. We had more students coming from the positive scroll onto the honor roll,” she said.

Nixon and her team took the incentives up a notch when they asked for donations from the surrounding community to give to students that did well.

“When parents saw that extra stimulus that caused them to start pushing children,” she said.

For the 2009-2010 school year Nixon said L.W. Young had five persons on the principal’s list; in 2010-2011 there were eight people on that list. At the Christmas term 11 students had made the principal’s list.

The grade improvements have also brought out a competitive streak in the students according to the principal as she said there are six ninth grade students on the principal’s list who are jockeying to see who will graduate from the school with the highest GPA.

“When I look at the six GPAs, the head girl [Maraisha Thompson] is 3.9, the head boy [Akieve Burrows] is 3.80 and then I have two of their peers [Demonica Brown and T’Neisha Knowles who are also 3.8, and [Davey Renoid and Jameica Bowe] who are 3.70, so I know it’s a push to see who can finish as the top academic student.”

She said the competitiveness has also fostered improvements in the high achieving students’ study habits.

“They tend to study together and are actually grouping, but at the same time they’re not pushing students who are not as bright as them out of their grouping, but pulling their peers along who need it,” she said.

The principal said she has also noticed the academic achievers stepping up to lead, something she encourages.

“If a teacher isn’t there and they don’t understand the math they would go to the white board and are actually showing their peers what to do. They become like peer tutors and I am encouraging it so that when they go to senior school they won’t lose their confidence.”

The efforts by the students she said also boosted the morale of teachers who she said have started pushing more, especially with the examination students.

“Last year we were the most improved in the BJC [Bahamas Junior Certificate examinations] GPA wise, so I know my teachers are pushing to ensure that our students when they enter exams have all of the strategies necessary to cause them to perform at their maximum potential,” said Nixon.

With the school year coming to a close in the next few weeks, for the summer break, Nixon’s advice to students who are still falling behind will be to do a lot of reading.

Actually she said the school has a new reading program sponsored by Wendy’s for students who are having challenges reading which will be mandatory for them to participate in over the summer.

Students will attend a four-week program that will improve their reading levels. The 37-year veteran educator says that normally at the end of a nine-week period, children will jump at least two grade levels in reading using the program.

“It’s a melodic program and it’s all online, so they’re using the headphones, the teachers are just monitoring what they’re doing on the site,” she said.

As her students continue to improve academically, Nixon said the results are showing up elsewhere as well. L.W. Young recently won a mathematics competition and their science team took gold, silver and bronze in a science competition.

“They’re coming along, doing well and realizing that it’s the extra study that they have to put in to be able to achieve the maximum at whatever they want to do,” said the principal.

While her student body currently numbers 791 students, (due to parents moving out of the community) in the start of the 2013-2014 school year, Nixon said that numbers will likely to increase to approximately 1,100 again because the Ministry of Education has mandated that primary school students from L.W. Young’s feeder schools move on to that school to balance out other schools.

 

 

STUDENTS ON THE PRINCIPAL’S LIST

Maraisha Thompson 3.90

Akieve Burrows 3.80

Demonica Brown 3.80

T’Neisha Knowles 3.80

Davey Renoid 3.70

Jameica Bowe 3.70

Macoyan Miller 3.60

Carrington Hanna 3.50

Toni  Ann Henry 3.50

Kendy Lorveska 3.50

Khadeja Mortimer 3.50

Toni-Ann Henry 3.50

Kendy Lorveiska 3.50

Khadejah Mortimer 3.50

 

 

STUDENTS ON THE

HONOR ROLL LIST

Kiyshanti Higgs 3.40

Vandia Williams 3.40

Cara Ellis 3.40

Jestina Whylley 3.40

Lussendy Jean  3.36

Latrelle Knowles 3.36

Laroyelle McPhee 3.30

Eleazar Goodman 3.30

Sambria Cooper 3.30

Alysa Pyfrom 3.30

Gabrielle Simms 3.30

Kendera Lewis 3.27

Larisee McPhee 3.27

Paulisha Roach 3.27

Briana Desravines 3.27

Eureka Major 3.27

Deneya Cooper 3.20

Quaniesha Fernander 3.20

Anthon Moxey 3.20

Johnette Wilson 3.20

Lavella Ferguson 3.20

Sylvia Olibrice 3.20

Israel Moss 3.18

Chieneka Major 3.18

Tomar Jean Louis 3.18

Gabrielle Campbell 3.10

Marvia Curtis 3.10

Christina Hanna 3.10

Kiovanni Gray 3.10

Donisha Knowles 3.10

Shayanne Irestile 3.10

Tre-Khara Smith 3.10

Erika Nacuis 3.10

Delante Taylor 3.09

Jetane Trembley 3.09

Shapharah Nottage 3.09

Kerva Sainpha 3.09

Regina Woodside 3.09

Brian Casimir 3.09

Rashad Cooper 3.09

Aaron Rolle 3.09

Shanaya Polycarpe 3.09

Karina Davila 3.09

Watsing Renoid 3.00

Justice White 3.00

Shanae Rolle 3.00

Thalmus Culmer 3.00

Daniel Pierre 3.00

Aleisha Knowles 3.00

Mona Ausias 3.00

Luckisha Louis 3.00

Krystania Pyfrom 3.00

Zyre Rolle 3.00

Shericka Utile 3.00

Garvin Musgrove 3.00

Candice Rolle 3.00

Donja-lee Newell 3.00

Laura Joseph 3.00

Brandace Swain 3.00

Kissandra Daxon 3.00

Destiny Dormeus 3.00


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