It took some time for the achievement of Zachary Gill of St Gabriel’s Primary School to sink in today.
Having been told that he was the top student in this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination, the brave and well-spoken Gill first had to grasp the enormity of it.
Sitting next to his principal Angela Blackett at the Collymore Rock, St Michael private institution shortly after he received the news this morning, Gill said he was excited about his achievement, but admitted he did not expect it.
He was delighted with his overall score of 251.71 A and a place at Queen’s College (QC), and was looking forward to the short drive from his Prior Park, St James home to QC.
“I want to thank all the teachers that I had, and all that I didn’t have. I would like to thank the principal; I would especially like to thank Mrs Lashley my J4 teacher who helped me a lot. And mummy and daddy because they helped me with my homework when I was stuck; and, my granny for correcting it all,” Gill said.
The 11-year-old said his road to success was full of sacrifices. For example, in the days leading up to the examination, he cut down on the time spent playing squash from twice a week to once weekly.
Gill was one the three male students who got a perfect score in Mathematics, his favourite subject.
“It is more logic and there is either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is no alternate answer,” he said assuredly.
His career goals are yet to be determined, however, Gill promised to continue working hard because he wants to excel in whatever profession he chooses.
“ThenI can make everyone happy and have a nice life,” he said.
The top boy, who has no siblings, said he was unsure how he and his parents Gina and Andrew Gill would celebrate the accomplishment.
“Maybe a small party,” he suggested.
Nevertheless, the party got started at school as Gill’s schoolmates screamed and shouted when they were told of his accomplishment. The top achiever walked around proudly shaking his peers’ hands and accepting hugs from teachers.
This is the second time in five years that St Gabriel’s Primary School has had the top student, reason enough for the principal and her team to be proud.
“The formula is, be diligent, work hard, ask every question you need to ask so you are clear about what you are doing, and work things through. Be logical in your approach [and] disciplined and you will succeed,” Blackett explained, adding that the school expected the highest achievement from its students.