In the lead up to the May 8 Common Entrance examination, life was extremely difficult for 11-year-old Rashauda Lashley.
In fact, often times she will filled with tears.
However, today her sorrow and weeping turned to joy as the Sharon Primary School student this morning received the much anticipated examination results.
Lashley, who emerged as her school’s top student with 87 in English and 96 in Maths, will be filing through the gates of the St Michael School come September after losing her mom to illness in August 2016.
Her brother was also fatally shot in the same month.
Today, Lashley was again reduced to tears, but this time tears of joy, as her dad Dennis Small and Class 4 teacher Osmond Hoyte delivered some good news for a change.
“This is an amazing feeling. This is exactly what I wanted her to be. My goal was to get her to be the top student in the school. I knew she had the potential to go to the school of her choice but I wanted her to be on top. All the hard work and dedication, I always knew that it would pay off,” her elated father told Barbados TODAY.
He explained that the period between which she lost her two loved ones and the 11-plus exam was the darkest time in his daughter’s life.
“During her course of studies she had a lot of troubles so I could not push her a lot or take away her privileges,” he said, while noting that she had also suffered an eye injury going into Class 3.
Given the circumstances, it was difficult trying to get her to revise.
“It was rough on me but I knew I had to be there for her and do certain things. Our relationship wasn’t no hard task because we always spend time together going to the beach or cricket, so when her mum passed I didn’t have to build a relationship, it was already established,” he said, adding that “she tried to be a strong child and to some point she understood [her loss]. Her mum before she passed explained a lot to her and as she grew, she was ok”.
The 54-year-old single parent admitted that getting Lashley ready for the exam was a huge task, but he still managed to offer words of support and fatherly advice at times.
“I was between a rock and a hard place. I had to hold the reins tight, but slacken so I won’t be too hard on her. I didn’t want her to go into that state of depression.
“I made sure she was free [but] in between she still had to do some work.”
“She had the potential and there was greatness in her that just manifested,” the proud dad said.
I would always tell her just keep on doing your best at all times because I knew she could do it.”
Overcome with emotion, Rashauda said: “I feel very happy I just have a lot of emotions right now. I would do some work at home but the most at school. I am so grateful that I will be heading to St Michael and I want to dedicate this to my daddy.”
Principal Pamela Small-Williams joined with Hoyte and class teachers Kimberley Smith in expressing how extremely proud they were generally of the school’s improved performance in 2018.