St. Margaret’s Primary student tops at SSEE
--- Leonora, Concord Academy cop 2nd, 3rd spots
by Shirley Thomas and Sandy Persaud
July 3, 2003
Results for the 2003 Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (SSEE) are out, and top performing student was Miss Catherina Gonsalves of St. Margaret’s Primary School, Camp Street, Georgetown, who scored 557 marks out of a maximum of 564.
Gonsalves, who scored the highest marks from among 14,900 candidates writing the examinations on April 16 and 17 last, hails from Drysdale Street, Charlestown.
She was followed closely by Karen Dolphin of Leonora Secondary School, with 556 marks. Third position, with a score of 552 marks, was gained by Yana Edwards of Concord Academy, New Market Street, Georgetown. Yana is the daughter of Judge Yonette Edwards Cummings and Dr. Morris Edwards.
A release from the Ministry of Education showed that St. Margaret’s swooped 6 of the top ten places, with three of their candidates tying for the fourth position - each scoring 550 marks, another the ninth, and two others tying for the tenth position.
Meanwhile, the four candidates who tied for the fourth position - each with a score of 550 marks were: Teon Loncke of 102 Sandyman Place, Brickdam; Reaud Hassan of 326 Republic Park; Avinash Jairam of 36 Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara - all students of St. Margaret’s and Errol Van Lange of the A.B.C. Academy.
The eighth position was secured by Suruj Mattai of Mae’s Under-12 with 549 marks, while the ninth position went to Naresh Poonai of St. Margaret’s Primary with 548, the Ministry of Education confirmed.
And sharing the tenth position, were two candidates from St. Margaret’s Primary - Seon Fredericks and Taralyn Harris, each with 547 marks.
Five students, Robo Matheson, Suraiya Ramkissoon, of St. Margaret’s; Keisha Haynes of Stella Maris Primary: Esa Sanicharra of Leonora Primary and Nerisa Khan of Meten-Meer-Zorg Primary each scored 546 marks and shared the 12th position.
Candidates were required to write four subjects with maximum marks apportioned as follows: Mathematics - 145; English -145; Social Studies 142 and Science 132.
When the Chronicle visited St. Margaret’s, top performer, Catherina Gonsalves
was all in glee. Asked how she felt - just moments after receiving her results, she impulsively replied: “I feel very happy and very relieved.”
Catherina admitted that it was ‘hard work’, and very stressful for her during her period of preparation for the examination. She said she was bent on doing her best and nothing was going to stop her.
And incredibly, in these times when ‘extra lessons’ seem to be the going thing, it has turned out very admirable that the brilliant and rather focused ‘pride’ of Charlestown and all Guyana, never engaged in extra lessons.
A full day’s work at school, under the able tutelage of class Teacher Ms. Gem Moriah, coupled with her input under the guidance of her parents and others at home, saw her emerge a national winner.
Catherina, like the other students of St. Margaret’s has expressed gratitude to Ms. Moriah, her Headmistress - Mrs. Crandon, her family and others who contributed to her success. Catherina who has elected to go to Queen’s College is working towards being placed in the science stream when the time would have come.
And Yana Edwards, the only child for her parents Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards and Dr. Morris Edwards, like her father, wants to pursue medical studies, but says she would like to go to become a Scientist. She will, in the new school year, be taking up a place at Queen’s College.
Beaming, and evidently gratified, Yana said exclaimed: “I would first like to thank my Creator, then my mother, my father, my friends, my teachers, and family.”
Asked about her hobbies, she impulsively replied: “I’m a book worm; I love reading, but I also love dancing and swimming.”
Meanwhile, Karen Dolphin, a student of Leonora Primary School, and of 104 Kidram Street, New Road Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara did her school proud, emerging the second best performing candidate at this year’s SSE Examination.
In an interview with the 12 year-old she claimed to be ‘overjoyed’, referring to the moment as “a reward after hard work.”
She commended her parents, teacher Miss Laxhmi Gopaul and the headmaster of the School, Mr S.M. Khan who gave her courage and motivation to work hard.
The aspiring singer and author also credited a substitute teacher Ms. Shamshun, who also gave her that extra push. She mentioned that after being among the top students in her class they were given badges for their achievement.
The elder of two children born to Jeadon and Jocslyn Dolphin, Karen said she studied until midnight most times.