Old scholar advises Combermere students to relentlessly pursue their dreams
by David Hinkson
Students at the Combermere school have been advised to be like pop sensation Rihanna by pursuing their dreams no matter what.
Delivering the feature address at the school’s annual Speech Day and Prize Giving ceremony on Tuesday, former student Dr Sonita Alexander, who is one of the singer’s best friends, noted that “[Rihanna] always wanted to be an entertainer, and despite me telling her to focus on being a psychologist, because I thought she’d really be good at that, she always believed her dream as an entertainer would come true and she never let go of that”.
Alexander, who graduated in 2006, also pointed out that “when I left Combermere I was best known for my ability to excel in academics while balancing track and field and cadets, but it did not start that way”. In fact, she recalled that it was the then athletics coach, Mr Blackman, who inspired her not to quit athletics after she failed to qualify for a single race in her first attempt at Inter School Sports in first form.
As a result of his words, “next year will be your year”, she won medals at the championships every year after that.
She therefore told the students they must never let go of their dreams.
The ex-Combermere student also pointed to the school’s team spirit and camaraderie saying it had contributed to its rich legacy over the last 300 years.
“Rihanna builds on the musical legacy created by Arturo Tappin and the MADD Comedians, Kraigg Brathwaite builds on the sporting legacy of Sir Wes Hall and Sir Clyde Walcott,” she added.
In his address, Principal Vincent Ferguson noted that the school did quite well in its CSEC and CAPE examinations, recording a 76 per cent overall pass rate at the CSEC level.
However, he was concerned about the number of students who received failing grades by not showing up for examinations.
“It costs Government $600, 000 when students are entered for exams and do not attend. We must do better”.
He did acknowledge, however, that the environmental issues the school faced over the past two years would have disrupted classes and affected the students’ performance.
“So I hope things will improve as we resettle, and the school will return to its former glory.”
On Tuesday, students Anaya Alleyne-Germain and Brandon Ochieng were rewarded for Outstanding Performance at the CSEC Level; Nickyle Holder and Ashontae Lashley were recognized for Commendable Performance at CAPE Level 1; while Ramona Sawh and Rachelle Williams were commended for their performance at CAPE Level 2.
The Principal’s Prize went to 2017’s school captains Asher Payne and Sapphire Douglin.