Teen turns a new leaf
Lizmar Bailey would be the first to tell you she was always in trouble at school, or was sick.
In fact, it was not until the 16-year-old found herself suspended in fourth form at Deighton Griffith Secondary School that she started to take stock of where she was headed.
“In fourth form I get sent home, a lot, and then I was sick too. In fifth form I realised that CXC was not as easy as I thought . . . So I decided I really couldn’t give trouble anymore, plus I was getting older too and I needed to settle down.
“Plus too, from the years I was not doing well, I missed a lot of school and that meant I had to catch up with a lot of work because in fourth form I missed like a month of work. It was difficult for me to catch on but I guess I did well, better than I thought.”
After only two months of solid application, she emerged from her CXC exams with grade II in English language, English literature, and food and nutrition; grade III in home economic management and integrated science and a grade IV in maths.
It was that grade four that concerned her the most though, because she knew she needed at least a three for any tertiary level acceptance, so now she is hoping she can take on a few more courses, perhaps at the continuing education level, and along with mathematics, take up a foreign language as well as geography, which she did not get to sit at the CXC level, in the coming year to make her more qualified for tertiary education.
“I only started doing extra work at the end of April and exams were in June, so I had two months. I told my mum I would not let her waste her money, and I meant it. I was really proud of myself,” said a smiling Bailey.
She had plans of becoming a meteorologist or some career in the field of geography, but that is not set in stone.
And she does have a few regrets – especially knowing that some of the fights she got into she could have walked away from.
“I regret not ignoring as much as I should have. When I realised I could ignore these people, it wasn’t even hard. If I had ignored more I could have done better.
“Teachers always say you either learn from your mistakes or you go through it and at least I learned. If I did this well in so short a space of time, I could have done better, because I used to get like two per cent at the end of term. It was bad.”
It does her heart good, she added, to now see her parents Mark Greenidge and Catherine Bowen so proud of how far she has come and she aims to keep it that way.
The year’s best performer at Deighton Griffith was Ebony Bentham, who received grade I in information technology, mathematics and principles of business; grade II in chemistry, English language and geography and a grade III in Spanish.
Bentham was ecstatic to receive information last week that she has been accepted to Harrison College to pursue computer science, chemistry and environmental science at CAPE advanced level.
“I want to be an application systems analyst. You go around to different businesses for example and you assess their information technology systems and see how they can be improved,” she explained, noting that she simply loved technology and that area seemed like a good fit.
On the other hand, Bentham said, “Spanish was completely hard, really hard. I am not that good at Spanish but everything else was pretty easy because I studied really long.”
Only her result in business, she said, was a surprise.
“I stayed up all night studying a whole bunch of text books and then when I got into the exam, most of what I studied didn’t come. I was like ‘oh gosh, I probably didn’t do good’.”
She said extra lessons became a part of her regime, especially in the subjects where she got ones, except for chemistry where she said even though she got a grade two, her performance improved significantly.
“I studied most of the time. I did not go out, I did not use the computer unless it was for school-related work and I also cut out television. I was focused on my exams and what I wanted.”
Principal of the school Cheryll Moseley reported that overall, the school recorded a pass rate of 72 per cent, with 15 students receiving success in seven subjects in one sitting; 23 with six subjects, and 27 with five passes in the last school year alone.
What has been amazing, she noted, was the 66.7 per cent and the 53 per cent pass rates in physics and chemistry respectively, well above the 7.7 per cent recorded in both for 2013; the 81.8 per cent in geography, up from 54 per cent; the 86 per cent in human and social biology, again above the 50 per cent reported previously, as well as the 59 per cent pass rate in mathematics, which she said was above the national average.
“I think the greatest improvement we would have seen was in physics, but we continue to do well in IT, where we get 97 per cent passes, we always do well in the 100 per cent range in clothing and textiles, home economic management . . . and the sciences are improving as well,” the proud principal said, thanking the staff for their commitment.
“We focused on a more student-centred approach, with greater emphasis on those core skills that students can leave with as a foundation and then keeping things like students’ discipline very high on the agenda.”
Moseley said while they celebrated the students with a high number of grade ones and twos, they recognised other students who excelled under trying circumstances.
(Green Bananas Media)