Friday, 17 August 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John’s - "It was a lot of hard work," said Joel Beazer, in response to the Ministry of Education's announcement on Thursday that he is the top student in the 2012 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exam.
The 16-year-old Antigua Grammar School student got 14 Grade One passes, 13 of them distinctions.
The subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Information Technology, Principles of Accounts, Spanish, Building Technology, English A, Mathematics, Principles of Business, Technical Drawing, English B, Physics and Social Studies.
His only ordinary Grade One pass was in French.
In addition, Beazerl attained a distinction in History, however, this pass was not factored in by the Ministry of Education in determining the top performer because he sat that exam separately.
"There were many after classes I had to go to," he told Caribarena. "According to the school timetable you can only manage eight subjects within the time allotted. I went to seven after classes. It took dedication because after every class you had to prepare for the next day.
"When I got free time I worked on areas I was weak in. Before I even did the CXC examination my sister and my mother, they prayed with me so I could retain the information."
Beazer’s mother Nellie said she was very proud of what he was able to achieve.
She prefaced her statement by giving thanks to God.
"The first thing we need to do is to give God praise and thanks because if it wasn't for Him, Joel would not have been able to achieve it," she said.
"Every day before exams we would make sure we prayed for him before he left home and we encouraged him to put God first; once you do that and work hard you can achieve everything."
Beazer’s abilities became obvious at an early age and were nurtured by his participation in the primary school Spelling B competition - Spellbound - and other school-based activities.
He went on to be a valedictorian at the Christian Union Junior Academy and, in the Common Entrance Examinations, was among the top 30 students.
While at the Antigua Grammar School, he made the Principal's List several times, and was valedictorian, once again, at the graduation.
“I give most of the credit to his school, then to him," his mother said.
"I too was always there. I like to be involved with everything my children do. I ensure they do their homework. You have to be involved," said the St Johnston’s Village resident.
Nellie believes her attendance at all meetings of the Parents Teachers Association and regular visits to the school contributed to her son's success.
"I ensure that I do that because I think too many parents today got their priorities upside down," she said.
Beazer is also surrounded by his family, she explained, all of them being good role models.
"Our children like to encourage him a lot. It's great when you have role models to look up to. I always believe you can (be) born poor but that doesn't mean you can't excel in whatever choices you make. I also encourage him to go for it. The sky is the limit."
Of his advice to other youth, Beazer said: "Anything you decide to do in life you have to stick with it even though other persons may say it's too much. It takes dedication and belief in yourself and you can get anywhere you want to go."
He plans to attend Antigua State College, then sit the standardised college admission test in the United States for entrance to a university.
Meantime, second place in the CSEC exam went to Sean Theodore Frederick of Baptist Academy who got 13 Grade 1s and one Grade 2, while third place went to Arize Sabien Charles Lee of Antigua Grammar School with 10 Grade 1s and two Grade 2s.
Cassandra Yvonne Vital of Christ the King High School placed fourth with six Grade 1s and eight Grade 2s, and fifth place went to Lionel Fullerton of St. Joseph’s Academy with six Grade 1s, four Grade 2s, and three Grade 3s.