A Frederick Smith Secondary old scholar has encouraged today’s students to be proud of their school, as it seeks to lift sagging spirits after a student’s slaying.
Speaking at the Independence Awards ceremony, paralegal Keisha Worrell reminded students that the Trents School, named for an architect of Independence, produced many outstanding sons and daughters of the soil.
She warned students that when they leave school to be wary of negative remarks about their alma mater, particularly following the death of 16-year-old Temario Holder, who was stabbed by another student two weeks ago.
But Worrell urged the students to be proud of the former St James Secondary, which has achieved great things over the past 40 years.
She declared: “Our school has produced many outstanding citizens and you are perfectly capable of walking in their footsteps and even going beyond the heights that they have reached.
“Past students have walked in similar, if not the same shoes, that you are currently in and I just want to mention a few.”
Worrell highlighted old scholar Shane Brathwaite, a 2012 Olympian turned professional hurdler and an Adidas athlete.
She also reminded the audience of other past students: Star athlete Tanya Oxley, now a teacher at Queen’s College; West Indies cricketers Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards and Deandra Dottin; and Member of Parliament for St Michael North West and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Neil Rowe.
Worrell added: “There are many more students who left this school and did well for themselves in tourism and hospitality, construction, entertainment, the medical and pharmaceutical industry, insurance, retail, the legal profession and the list goes on.”
The paralegal encouraged the students to achieve academic excellence and never be afraid to say where they came from when they went on to college or university.
She recalled: “When I started BCC I was the only student from our school in my class. I recognised no one.
“I won’t lie; it was a bit intimidating at first being the odd man out.
“So, during introductions when everyone asked ‘what school did you go to?’ my reply naturally was ‘St James’.
“My response was the only one that received a ‘no, seriously! What school did you go to?’
“I won’t lie; it felt good responding ‘Yes, St James Secondary School’.
“We may have received lower marks in the Common Entrance Examination but be proud of where you are from because it is not where you started but where you end up.”
Ten Frederick Smith students: Zion Roach, Diamond Phillips, Elecia Bowman, Jalani Agard, Gineva Alleyne, Abdul M’hammed, Shaunje Lashley, Jada Amor-Gittens, Jamol Williams, and Ashanti Boyce, who excelled in academics and other areas were rewarded for their outstanding efforts.
Most Outstanding Cadet Antonio Seale received a special award. (AH)