Lauryn Rolle Named Student of the Year
Eleven year-old Lauryn Rolle of St Thomas Moore Primary School was declared the Bahamas Primary School Student of Year Foundation’s ‘2013 Student of the Year’. Lauryn won the award over 122 other outstanding students from primary schools throughout The Bahamas. The prestigious title came with a $5000.00 scholarship donated by Bank of The Bahamas and a computer courtesy Dr. Jonathan Ford.
The dynamic student, who is the great-granddaughter of legendary educator, Theodore Grant Glover and daughter of Pia and Herman Rolle, has already achieved many accolades and milestones in her short lifespan. She was overcome with tears as she realized that it was her attributes being described by Mrs. Jacqueline Bethel, Chairman of the Judging Panel.
After composing herself, she stated, “World’s cannot describe how I feel. I have awaited three years for this to happen. This has never happened at my school, we have had a third, and a second, but this is the first time we have won.”
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Jerome Fitzgerald was the keynote speaker at the ceremony and provided a wealth of advice, initially to the parents of the honourees and then to the students. Minister Fitzgerald told parents that their child represented the best and the brightest in The Bahamas and that they are all winners.
“There are approximately 6,000 grade 6 students in the Bahamas. The students on stage represent 2% of that number,” the Minister proclaimed. He encouraged parents to embrace their children whatever the outcome of the competition and not complain.
The Minister told the honourees, that this is only one of many honours and awards they will receive if they stay focused, committed to excellence and worked hard in school, remain humble and most importantly honour God. “He has given you all of these extraordinary talents. Use them to honor him,” he said.
Minister Fitzgerald also took the opportunity to share with the audience a new initiative which he has implemented which is expected to impact education in a significant way.
“You have often heard me quoting words of Prime Minister Christie, when he declared that, “it is education not money that is the cure to poverty and likewise education, not jails, the solution to crime.” I strongly believe this and this is the reason I felt compelled to bring all of the major political parties to the table to collaborate on ‘A Shared Vision for Education 2030’ – a plan that transcends politics and has the Bahamian people’s interest at heart. We expect that at the end of our deliberations around this time next year, this plan will provide almost every child with an education which enables him/her to contribute to the development of The Bahamas.”
The Minister’s announcement was well received by the crowd who showed their approval with a loud applause. He also thanked Mr. Ricardo Deveaux, President and Founder of the awards programme for his vision in establishing the programme in 1996 which has been embraced by many persons who have given it their unwavering support.
Allie Pinder of Spanish Wells All-Age School was the Second Runner-up. She received a $3000.00 scholarship from Purity Bakery Limited and a laptop from Customs Computer.
Vashti Darling of St. John’s College’s won the first Primary School Student of the Year title in 1997. Since then eight other students from independent schools have won and seven from public schools. The winners have hailed from New Providence from Abaco, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera.
During the ceremony held on Saturday, 18th May, 2013, a surprise congratulatory video message from Anna Albury, the 2011 Student of the Year and the only blind person to win the award was played. Anna is currently studying at a school for the deaf and Blind in St. Augustine’s, Florida.
Since its inception the awards programme has awarded over $800,000 in scholarships. Fifty-two of the 123 students in 2013 were awarded scholarships.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Pictured is L-R (a t back) are: Ms. Collette Knowles, President of the Pan Hellenic Council-Bahamas; Mr. Ricardo P. Deveaux, President, Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation; Ms. Dominique Thompson, Bank of The Bahamas representative; Jared Fitzgerald, 2010 Winner; Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education Science and Technology; Nadja Simon, 2012 Winner; Teneille Curtis, 2003 Winner; George Zonicle, 2006 Winner; Mrs. C.C. Lafleur, Co-Chairman of the Awards Committee and Mr. Vandyke Pratt, Chairman; Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation
Front row (l-r) are: Khes Adderley, 2009 Winner and Lauryn Rolle, the 2013 Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year.awards, educational, student