PRINCIPAL JOSEPH KING says he is committed to ensuring that St Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School gets a sixth form.
He told the DAILY NATION after the official opening of the school’s1 000-seat auditorium last Wednesday evening there could be no doubt now that St Leonard’s was one of the leading schools in the country and ready to move to the next level.
“We are a registered level one school and are on the rise,” he pointed out. “One of my basic goals is to make sure that St Leonard’s becomes a sixth form school before the end of my tenure as principal, and I think I am heading in the right direction, given the initiatives that we have put in place.
“I am committed to seeing St Leonard’s reach sixth form status and the Minister [of Education] is not averse to that suggestion. That is priority number one for me.” Minister of Education Ronald Jones has announced that The St Michael School and Foundation School are to become sixth form schools and it is anticipated that two other secondary schools may be granted sixth form status.
King feels that his school, which has excelled as a centre for the teaching of Spanish, is in the top ten schools.
“In my opinion, we are probably number seven in the hierarchy of the schools,” he estimated.
“There has been a tremendous improvement at the school. When I came to the school, the intake mark was around 50 to 58, within two years, it has now risen to 73.“
My anticipation is that at the end of this year’s 11-Plus Examination, we will have students coming in with over 80 per cent [pass mark],” he said.King spoke proudly of the school auditorium that cost Government more than $350 000.
“When I was interviewed for the position, I made the clear point that I am going to make St Leonard’s a school strong in the areas of art, culture and music,” King remarked.
“I made adjustments to the school programme to reflect what I was looking forward to and now the school is reaping the rewards.” King said the auditorium, with its top-of-the-line acoustics, had high income-generating possibilities.
“I have great expectation for its continued use and anticipate that the St Leonard’s Boys’ school’s auditorium will become the cultural and artistic centre of the school and community systems in Barbados,” he declared.
In addition to the auditorium, two other projects have been completed at the school – the grading and re-grassing of the playing field along with the building of a walkway. The cost of the covered walkway was just over $189 000 while it required $60 987.14 for the work on the playing field.
The principal said the renovation of the auditorium included improving the acoustics, repairing broken chairs on the upper landing, replacing some of these with benches, and laying a new floor which will be capable of use for both indoor games and cultural activities.
King said the cost of the three projects was $502 200.07 which represents a savings of $9 899.93 from the budgeted $512 000 which had been approved.
Another initiative King was proud of was the provision of solar pumps for the water well with its windmill, situated on the northern side of the school.
“I am sure our attempt to reduce the cost of our water bill will be welcomed. This project has the potential to supply water for our playing field, vegetable gardens and rest rooms,” he noted