The Nobel Laureate Festival remains as “festive” as the chairperson of the committee, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, promised. The event continued this week with the National Awards of Excellence 2017 which followed the theme “Celebrating Excellence: Fostering National Pride”.
The awards ceremony was hosted at the National Cultural Centre on Tuesday, January 17th by the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development in conjunction with the Nobel Laureate Festival Committee. Attendees included students, teachers, awardees, ministry representatives, sponsors and, of course, very proud parents.
To begin: a heart-warming presentation by neatly uniformed children from the Kiddies Headstart Early Childhood Centre, who gave the opening prayer and song. Before leaving the stage the little ones ensured everyone was sharing genuine smiles.
In her opening remarks, Honourable Minister Gale Rigobert expressed delight in the achievement and excellence of our country’s students and teachers. She remarked that Saint Lucia, for twenty-four years, had been celebrating the success of two Nobel Laureates, but it should not stop there. Gale Rigobert believes that she will witness the celebration of the island’s third Nobel Prize winner, whoever it may be.
Students who excelled in the regional Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC/CSEC/CAPE) and Cambridge examinations since January last year were decorated with trophies and certificates of national recognition. Tapion School and Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School were awarded for being the top performing schools in the Common Entrance Examinations while Arielle Mitchell was recognised for being the top performer.
Students Dion Recai, Soivensky Joseph, Cheyenne Quinlan and Daniel Cotter’s names will be remembered for a while after last Tuesday. They received numerous outstanding subject performance awards and the Mistress of Ceremonies, Ms. Ruth Fevrier, also noted that they all ranked in the top ten regionally in their respective subjects.
Some schools were more prominent than others; plenty of awardees previously attended the St. Joseph’s Convent, St. Mary’s College and Vieux Fort Secondary School.
St. Joseph’s Convent was awarded for being the top performing school for CXC.
Awards were presented to students and schools by various education officers and sponsors namely Digicel, Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), & Consultancy Services Ltd. (FICS), Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Embassy of Spain in Saint Lucia, and Massy Stores. Best Overall Performer in CXC, Tracey Moyston, was presented with her award by Minister Gale Rigobert and the Island Scholarship Awards were presented by Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy to the parents of Rocyn Vitalis and Nikita Greenidge who were both unable to attend.
Students who received the National Awards of Excellence proved their versatility throughout Tuesday’s presentation: Daniel Cotter, the awardee of CSEC/CXC Outstanding Performance in Music, as well as other subjects, performed a rendition on the keyboard during a break in the awards ceremony; Essi Valcin, the island’s top performer in Theatre Arts CXC, acted a short piece about the difficulties students face at school; the top performer in Mathematics (CXC/CSEC), Reshul Narhari, is a former Miss SJC Princess.
During the ceremony, video presentations from sponsors were shown encompassing their work and accomplishments and that of the ministry. TEPA, Advance Intellectual Methods (AIM), the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development and other sponsors all strongly believe that “our people are ready to take on a changing global environment”.