The farming community of Mountainside has a school that bears its name.
Vice-Principal Colmie Simms said much effort goes into the strong bond that exists between Mountainside Primary and its community, located some 17 kilometres from Black River – St Elizabeth’s capital.
“Mountainside Primary has always been a beacon in this area,” she declared.
“You have persons from adjoining communities who also find pleasure in coming to this school.”
“Over the years, the school has been having great success. From the Common Entrance Examination to GSAT, we have been doing well. This year, it’s just the same,” the vice-principal further told Jamaica Beacon.
The student population is 287.
Nearly 50 of those students sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
They produced mixed results. Here are the top two:
Name: O’Patria Dennis
GSAT Average: 95.2 percent
High School: Hampton
Parents: Doris McNeil Dennis and Patrick Dennis
Teacher: Phylicia Ebanks
Name: Tiffanni Gray
Position: Deputy Head Girl
GSAT Average: 92.4 percent
High School: Hampton
Parents: Barbara Banton and Milton Gray
Teacher: Jascinth Parchment-Gordon
The other top-performing students are: Aspiring nurse Shan-Alsha Parchment who will attend Black River High, future teacher Abbey-Gaye Wright who will enroll at St Elizabeth Technical High School, aspiring vet or chief executive officer Ajay Thompson who is heading to Munro College, and future air hostess Michaela Maxam who is raring to start Decarteret College.
GSAT students are drawn from the three Grade Six classes at Mountainside Primary. Their respective teachers are Jascinth Parchment-Gordon, Phylicia Ebanks, and Symonthia Foster-Shakespeare.
“The three teachers unite and work together,” Ebanks told Jamaica Beacon, adding that they get much support from principal Eric McLean.
She said much effort went into preparing the students for the five GSAT subjects – Mathematics, Science, Communication Studies, Language Arts, and Social Studies.
“Preparing the students was fun, but it was also challenging,” added Ebanks.
“The students are very young, and many became frustrated at times. Nonetheless, we worked assiduously. The students who achieved had a dream. They were determined to succeed and, with encouragement from teachers, they did their best. I am happy,” Ebanks said.
Another of the GSAT teachers, Parchment-Gordon, said the students had mixed reactions to the results.
“When some of them saw the grades, they were a bit disappointed and some were pleased.”
Parchment-Gordon also said Mountainside expects the students to shine in secondary school.
“I expect them to keep up the good work, make themselves proud, and stay away from evil influence,” she told Jamaica Beacon.
Written by Horace Mills. St Elizabeth resident Jermaine Graham assisted with coverage.