The Head Boy With 95% – Ryan-Lee Simms Moves From Ewarton School To Campion

The Head Boy With 95% – Ryan-Lee Simms Moves From Ewarton School To Campion

July 4, 2023 0 By Horace Mills

Ryan-Lee Simms’ performance in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) serves as a welcomed reminder that many of Jamaica’s youths continue to achieve academic success and offer optimism for the future of the nation.

Simms, a student at Pollyground Primary School in Ewarton, St Catherine, is bursting with pride as he, this year, earned a Placement Score of 342.4 out of a maximum 360 points in PEP, which is used to place students in secondary schools.

That means he has amassed 95.05 percent overall, making him the top performer at his school where he also serves as Head Boy.

His impressive score landed him placement at his first school choice – Campion College, which is one of Jamaica’s highest performing secondary educational institutions in academics.

For his “outstanding performance”, the 12-year-old copped the Mabel English Foundation Award, which resulted in him earning US$1,000. That’s a little over JA$150,000.

“I am very happy and pleased with my results,” he said. “I got motivation from my parents and other relatives and I studied at school and at home. I keep on pushing through all the negative things that are happening around me and I keep my head high.”

Ryan-Lee Simms strikes a pose with some of the awards he collected during the 2023 staging of Pollyground Primary’s graduation ceremony. Photo contributed.

A break-down of Ryan-Lee’s results shows him landing in the highest of the four levels of PEP performance (Highly Proficient) in three of the four curriculum-based subjects administered. Those subjects are Mathematics, Language Arts and Science. In the other curriculum-based subject, Social Studies, he was adjudged Proficient – the second best performance level.

Ryan-Lee also did not disappoint in the Ability Test, scoring a whopping 96 percent.

His outstanding achievement is no surprise as he was an academic standout throughout primary school. Proving to be an all-rounder, he also played football and basketball, dabbled in chess, and enjoyed drawing and painting.

“My biggest challenge so far has been to challenge myself to learn and motivate myself more,” the aspiring technical engineer said, adding that people should expect “bigger and better achievements” from him as he journeys through secondary school.


His parents, Ryan Simms and Latoya Palmer, are justifiably ecstatic.

His dad told The Beacon that he, along with his son’s mother, helped to prepare Ryan-Lee for PEP. They gave him pre-emanation tests, helped him to keep track of exam dates and ensured that he covered every aspect of each subject.

“I am very proud and very humbled by his success,” the father added. “Ryan- Lee has shown that he was a high achiever from an early age and so I wasn’t surprised at his PEP results. Our expectations for Ryan-Lee is for him to never stop reaching for stars. The sky is the limit for him, and we will never limit him or doubt his abilities. We will always support him.”


Like Ryan-Lee’s parents, his teacher, Marie Campbell, is elated about his PEP results.

“Ryan-Lee is a student leader at Pollyground Primary School. In class, he is a very diligent child; he is a high achiever. Whatever he does, it is at the highest level. I must commend his parents for ensuring that his homework is normally done  – and done properly,” she told The Beacon.

Campbell further stated that Ryan-Lee enjoys motivating his peers. “We had our Grade Six Dinner last week Friday and most of his classmates said he would have influenced and impacted them in a really positive way.”

Campbell has had her fair share of success over the 14 years that she has been teaching at Pollyground Primary. She has spent nine of those years preparing Grade Six students for the assessment through which they are placed in secondary schools.

“My students would have passed for top schools within St Catherine as well as in Kingston,” she explained. “Five years ago, two of them copped the then Prime Minister’s Award for their performance; so I have known and tasted success as it relates to my students being top achievers in their exams.”

Campbell added that one of her biggest dreams as a teacher was to have one of her students placed at Campion College.

“Ryan-Lee would have really placed the icing on the cake because I have always been aiming to have a student placed at Campion College. Ryan-Lee would have made that dream of mine come true,” she said.

The educator, like others, is expecting the young scholar to continue making his cheerleaders, school and community proud.

Torian Clarke also contributed to this story.

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