The pride and joy of St. Thomas More Primary
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: May 22, 2013
Lauryn Rolle may have been overcome with emotion when she was named Primary School Student of the Year, but make no mistake about it the young lady is definitely not a shrinking violet. And when you speak with her, you will find that she’s a young lady who seems to know where she’s going and exactly how she’s going to get there and what she has to do to accomplish it. Case-in-point, the St. Thomas More Primary School student had aspirations of becoming a marine biologist, but let go of those “pie-in-the-cloud” dreams when she learned how much money they make. Her research caused her to change her mind. She said the salary was not attractive to her. She now wants to become a neurosurgeon … and that fits in well with the pre-teen whose favorite subject just happens to be science.
Picking up the coveted primary school award over 121 other nominees according to the 11-year-old pre-teen was “awesome.”
“I felt fantastic … my thoughts couldn’t flow properly at that time,” said Lauryn as she reflected on her win. “I was hoping to be named student of the year and I prayed and I prayed and I hoped and told everybody at my church, Mt Tabor, to pray for me.”
But she said her peers all told her she had the award in the bag before her name was even called.
Taking the title to the St. Thomas More campus in its 17th year made her feel honored, especially as she was the first person from her school to win the award. St. Thomas More recognized her accordingly with a surprise assembly in her honor yesterday.
“I was quite surprised,” said Lauryn, the daughter of Pia and Herman Rolle. “No one even told me. My mom and dad knew. Everyone looked me in the face and didn’t even tell me.”
While she takes pride in her accomplishment, the one thing she will not allow is cockiness. She believes in humility and not allowing awards won to change her attitude.
Second place went to Allie Pinder of Spanish Wells All Age School. Mackenzie Peet of Temple Christian School was third. Fourth place went to Xavier’s Lower School’s Dante Cooper. Bayview Academy’s Kiran Halkitis finished fifth.
Readying for the transition
She was back to her regular routine at school preparing for the year to come to a close in less than a month. She said she was looking forward to enjoying her summer break before her transition to high school. Even with summer approaching the Primary School Student of the Year still had her education on her mind.
“It’s a very big part of my life, and I take it [education] very seriously. I don’t mess around with it and I hate to see people who mess around with their education, especially when you go to a private school like this [St. Thomas More] and the school fees are very expensive,” said Lauryn. “You don’t want to waste your parents’ money.” Since she will be heading to St. Augustine’s College (SAC) in the fall, it’s a mantra she will continue to hold onto.
And she has parents who she says have instilled a good work ethic within her. At the end of every month she said her mother gave her what they called a unit test, and everything she got wrong or didn’t understand, they came back to on the next month’s test. That coupled with the fact that she did her homework daily when she got home without anyone really having to tell her to do it, she said added up to the student who is graduating with a near-perfect (96.94 out of a possible 100) grade point average.
“Nobody really has to tell me to get my homework done. As soon as I get home I know I have to do it, no question about it. But my mom always brags that it’s her, but my dad has some influence in it too.”
As she leaves St. Thomas More, Lauryn says she’s taking a wealth of knowledge and memories with her.
“I always say that these teachers who teach you in primary school lay the foundation and you have to build on it when you go to high school,” she said.
As she prepares for the next rung on her educational ladder, Lauryn says the upcoming summer break will be weird for her because she knows she will not return to St. Thomas More. She says this summer for her will be about transition, but she plans to continue her old habit which entails relaxing for the first part of the summer, then going over her books toward the middle of August to prepare herself for her return to the classroom.
She’s given St. Thomas More it’s first student of the year award, and her advice to students that will be nominated from the school in the years to come is to always do their best. And she says even if they don’t place, that they should not be depressed or discouraged, because she said just to be nominated is an achievement.
“Don’t be afraid, don’t get nervous, but keep it safe in God and even if you win or even come first runner-up, remain humble and don’t let it change your attitude and don’t show it off. Be proud in your accomplishments, but don’t let cockiness take you over,” said Lauryn.
A legacy in education
She also happens to be the great-granddaughter of legendary educators Theodore Grant (T.G.) Glover and the great-niece of Carlton E. Francis (both of whom have schools named in their honor) and she said she knows they’re both proud of her.
“I know they’re looking down at me from heaven and they know that my granddad, my mom and my dad and everybody did a great job,” said Lauryn.
She received a $5,000 scholarship and a computer. She’s also proud of her sash and her nominee medal as well. Her parents will also host a graduation/congratulatory party in her honor to which Lauryn said she’s inviting her peers from both sixth grade classes at her school, the teachers and the administrators.
While she knows it’s smart to get an education, Lauryn also knows that she needs to be well-rounded and participates in dance, which she says is her favorite extracurricular activity with Brownies a close second.
St. Thomas More principal Ellen Daniels was excited and happy for Lauryn’s accomplishment.
“I give God all the thanks and glory for it, and then her teachers and her parents who helped to mold her,” said Daniels who has headed the school since 2001. “I was just excited when they called her name.”
Daniels who said she tries to get to know her students on a one-on-one basis described Lauryn as mature and mannerly for her age, and as a student who is always willing to help other students.
“Although she may be an A [grade] student, she’s willing to get out there and help other students. And whenever you ask her to do something she does it without any fuss,” said the principal. “She’s one of those students who I hope other students would follow her lead and look at her as a role model.”
As Lauryn prepares to graduate and move on to SAC, Daniels said she wanted Lauryn to always keep God in her life, and to remember the rules and the morals they set down for her at the school. And that she would continue to uphold the standards she learned while there.
She also said that she wanted Lauryn to ensure that education was not her only focus but for her to continue to be a well-rounded person.
“I’m hoping the children behind her will see that [Lauryn] didn’t just get it [award] because she is an A student, but because she’s a well-rounded person and she focuses on the Lord … and she talks about that and the things that she does at her church. I want them to know that they have to be focused, and that if they’re not focused they will not get there,” said Daniels.
The principal also credited Lauryn’s parents with her success. She said they are the type of parents that are good role models who are always helping out and who make themselves available for their daughter to take her where she needs to go.
“I would hope that my other parents would take the lead and follow some of the standards that her [Lauryn’s] parents have set down for her.”
Since its inception the awards program has awarded over $800,000 in scholarships. Fifty-two of this year’s nominees were awarded scholarships.
PAST PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENT OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2012 — Nadja Simon
2011 — Anna Albury
2010 — Jared Fitzgerald
2009 — Khes Adderley
2008 — James Boyce
2007 — Taran Carey
2006 — George Zonicle
2005 — Shirdat Jadoo
2004 — Saul Salonga
2003 — Tenielle Curtis
2002 — Zachary Lyons
2001 — Kenny Roberts
2000 — Sasha Bain
1999 — Tiffany Moncur
1998 — Andrea Moultrie
1997 — Vashti Darling