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img: Universal Cycle Centre owner, Pius Raveneau, presents Arielle with her new BMX bicycle. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

Carmen Rene Student Scores 96.33 Percent

img: Universal Cycle Centre owner, Pius Raveneau, presents Arielle with her new BMX bicycle. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
Universal Cycle Centre owner, Pius Raveneau, presents Arielle with her new BMX bicycle. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Arielle Mitchell of Carmen Rene Memorial School is this year’s top performer at the Common Entrance Examination.

She scored an impressive 96.33% and will be attending the St. Joseph’s Convent in September.

“I feel excited and shocked,” Arielle told The VOICE on Tuesday. “I knew I would do well but never thought I would do that well.”

Arielle said she was inspired by previous students who topped the Common Entrance Examination, including students from her own Alma Mater.

Six years ago, two eleven-year-old girls, Lovelle Auguste of Carmen Renee Memorial and Natissa Scott of Camille Henry Memorial, tied for first place with 96.67%.

The top student said she looks forward to keeping up good grades at her new school and making new friends. She also thanked her teachers and fellow students for encouraging her. While she has not decided what career path she wants to follow, Arielle said she has a strong passion for business.

Arielle’s Grade 6 teacher, Mavis Weekes, said Arielle was a straight-A student, noting that Arielle actually attained the same mark when she sat the mock Common Entrance Examination. She described Arielle as an intelligent student, an avid reader who is extremely disciplined and focussed.

“These are qualities she exhibited throughout regardless of what was going on around her,” Weekes said. “So I felt quite elated when I found out that she topped the island in Common Entrance. But I wasn’t surprised because she’s that kind of student. To me, it’s a great sendoff because I’m retiring.”

School Principal, Jillian Elliot, said she wishes Arielle the best in her future endeavours, especially in her new school environment. She also thanked Universal Cycle Centre owner and former national cyclist, Pius Raveneau, who presented Arielle with a brand-new BMX bicycle on Tuesday.

“They have been faithful in doing this for a number of years and it does serve as motivation for our children to do well,” Elliot said. “It also speaks to children being all-rounders; not only are they achieving academically, but also take part in sports or some form of exercise.”

Universal Cycle Centre representative, Guy Larcher, said the company takes pride in motivating and rewarding students for their hard work, adding that students who were successful in this year’s Common Entrance Examination can also take advantage of special offers now on a Universal Cycle Centre.

Arielle’s mother, Lesley Crane-Mitchell, was all smiles when The VOICE caught up with her at Tuesday’s presentation at Carmen Rene Memorial School. She said her daughter’s achievement caught the family by surprise. She said that while Arielle was expected to be among the top five performers, her consistent great performances and her teachers’ input paid off.

“Of course, we’re on Cloud 9 and very proud of her,” Crane-Mitchell said. “She has always been an excellent student from day one. We expected her to do well but never dreamed that she would do so well. So we’re simply elated. But it is testimony to all those persons who worked hard with her along with her own discipline.”

Crane-Mitchell said a combination of after-school programmes and the tremendous input from teachers also played a crucial role in Arielle’s success. She expressed thanks to all involved in her daughter’s development throughout her tenure there.

Arielle’s father, Nigel, too, did not muzzle his pride, saying Arielle is more of a teacher than a student at home.

“I’m proud. In fact, she’s had to teach me a thing or two whenever I try to help her with homework. I thought I was at the top of my game but there were a few particularly hard areas in mathematics where she actually sent us back to the drawing board,” Mitchell explained.

He said Arielle, who turns 12 later this month, is self-motivated and dedicates herself to her studies even without her parents’ prompting. There are some nights, he said, when she has to be told to close her books and go to bed.

Arielle’s younger sister, Amber, who also attends Carmen Rene Memorial School, will move up to Grade 4 in September. She said that while she’s proud of her sister’s achievement, the moment is a bittersweet one.

“I’m very sad because I will miss her at school,” Amber lamented. “Because she will be in secondary school, most of the time she will be studying.”

In attending the St. Joseph’s Convent, Arielle will be following in the footsteps of her forebears who also studied at that prestigious learning institution. Her great grandmother attended the school, while both her mother and grandmother attended and taught there.

Meanwhile, this year’s top fifteen performers consist of nine girls and six boys with scores ranging from 93.67% to 96.33% and come from ten primary schools. They are as follows:
• Arielle Mitchell, Carmen Rene Memorial – 96.33% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Sherice Gajadhar, Ave Maria Girls’ Primary – 95.33% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Naekeisha Louis, Ave Maria Girls’ Primary – 95.00% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Anthony St. Omer, Tapion Private – 94.33% — passed for St. Mary’s College
• Rashaad Augier, Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School – 94.00% — passed for St. Mary’s College
• Nia Constantine, Roblot Combined School – 94.00% — passed for VFCSS – La Ressource
• Richie Hyacinth, St. Aloysius RC Boys’ Primary School – 94.00% — passed for St. Mary’s College
• Darnilla Samuel, Grande Riviere Combined School – 94.00% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Shyne Savory, Camille Henry Memorial School – 94.00% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Arianne Black, Camille Henry Memorial School – 93.67% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Analine Harry, Augier Combined – 93.67% — passed for VFCSS – La Ressource
• Altus Leon, Plain View Combined – 93.67% — passed for St. Mary’s College
• Shante Mason, Ave Maria Girls’ Primary – 93.67% — passed for St. Joseph’s Convent
• Sherqwayn Prudent, Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary – 93.67% — passed for St. Mary’s College
• Ethan St. Rose, Tapion Private – 93.67% — passed for St. Mary’s College

This year’s composite scores ranged from 14.33% to 96.33%, with the national mean dipping by 1.05% to 62.73% compared to last year’s 63.78%. Of the 2,419 students sitting this year’s Common Entrance Examination, 1,280 (or 52.91%) scored at or above the national mean, while 1139 students (or 47.09%) scored below.

Also, only Districts 1, 2, 3 and 7 recorded a mean equal or greater than the national mean. The means for the island’s eight educational districts ranged from 57.11% to 66.21%.

Two thousand two hundred and fifty (2,250) students were assigned to 23 secondary schools, while 169 were unassigned. However, officials from the Ministry of Education held a special meeting at Castries Comprehensive Secondary School to assign a school to those who were unassigned.

Twelve hundred and seventy-three males and 1,146 females sat this year’s exams, with 592 boys scoring the national mean compared to 688 girls doing so and 1,176 boys and 1,074 girls being assigned.

The results indicate that compared to last year, there was an increase in the national mean performance in Mathematics and General Paper (from 59.81% to 60.98% and from 66.31% to 69.88% respectively). However, the national mean for English Language declined from 65.24% to 57.34% over the period under review.

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

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