SJA Recognizes Academic Excellence

The St. Joseph’s Academy was abuzz with excitement, as the now familiar pomp and ceremony was held in honour of D’Aundre Samuel and Adrian Judnarine both of whom emerged as Antigua and Barbuda’s 1st and 2nd place students respectively in the 2023 CSEC Examinations. Mr. Samuel attempted twenty-three subjects and emerged with twenty-one (21) Grade Ones and two (20 Grade Twos, while Mr. Judnarine attempted twenty-six subjects and emerging with Nineteen (19) Grade Ones and seven (7) Grade Twos.

Delivering remarks at the ceremony, Director of Education, Clare Browne praised the leadership and staff of the Academy for continuing to foster the all-important traits of perseverance, discipline, and academic excellence. He expressed his delight at being invited to similar event over the last decade, a testimony to the fact that “the St. Joseph’s Academy has continuously strived for excellence” and “has provided knowledge and grooming, producing many outstanding men of our world beyond a shadow of a doubt SJA has made indelible marks throughout Antiga and Barbuda and across the globe-there is something, something about the air around here.” He concluded by expressing hope that the honourees past and present will all serve as inspiration to current and future generations of scholars.  

Also addressing the gathering was the Executive Assistant for Catholic School, Mr. Ashworth Azille. In a similar vein, he commended the administration, staff, and parents for a wonderful display of collaboration and commitment to academic excellence. He noted that the occasion was a wonderful departure for the now popular narrative of moral decay, academic paralysis and an inclination to violence that seems to have characterized our youth, and particularly our young men. He went on to praise the resilience and discipline of the young scholars whose willingness to sacrifice the immediate pleasures for the pursuit of higher ideals. He concluded by encouraging the student body to view D’Aundre and Adrian as exemplars of the type of academic excellence that can be achieved and to live my the Adacemy’s moto “Ne Timeas” never afraid.

Words of commendation were also delivered by the Local CXC Registrar, Mr. Myrick Smith. He offered congratulations to the honourees and praised their enterprise, while dispelling the validity of critics who often question the value of students pursuing “so many subjects.” Smith seemed to rubbish the criticism, likening it to athletics, sports, or business where everyone is expected to operate at their optimal level, always seeking the push beyond established boundaries. He noted a decade ago, a student pursuing twelve (12) CSEC subjects was the highlight, however, every year since then the number of subjects being pursued has seen a sharp increase and has seen as many as twenty-six (26) locally. This he describes as an excellent display of academic press. He urged every student gathered to push their mind to the very limit and they will be surprised at what can be achieved.

Also in attendance were the Bishop of St.John’s-Basseterre, Most Rev. Robert A. Llanos who offered the opening prayer, Mrs. Rosa Greenaway-Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Giselle Maginley (School Board Member), Fr. Jean Paul Sade- School Chaplain, parents and well-wishers of D’Aundre and Adrian, and the entire student body.  The ceremony ended with a splendid rendition of the school song.