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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Matthew Robinson (L) and Alumni President, Jasmine Young (3rd from right)). Meeting with the members of Excelsior’s Model U. N. Team and staff advisor Ms. Leacia Patmore.
Excelsior High School’s participation in this year’s Model United Nations competition, set for Washington, DC on February 12 – 16, will get timely assistance from a staunch benefactor linked to the Excelsior Alumni Association of Florida.
Patron Matthew Robinson recently unveiled his plans to assist the selected participants of the competition when he visited Excelsior for the annual Founder’s Day Celebrations in January. He met with the principal, the school’s administration, and the students.
The Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the core mission of the United Nations. The North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) takes the form of a conference and engages about 3,000 delegates with their advisors.
With several members of Excelsior’s contingent aspiring to have a career in law and justice, the competition will help in sharpen their skills in debating and critical thinking. It was because of these benefits why Robinson worked to secure almost US$6,000. 00 (approx. J$1 million ) in sponsorship to help defray a fraction of the team’s expenses.
Excelsior’s 7-member team will receive some US$4,460.00 (approx. J$617, 704.00) to cover meals, transportation, and lodging. Plus another US$1,190.00 (approx. J$152, 691.00) in fee for waivers. This is with all courtesy of the Washington-based hosts, NAIMUN, and Robinson’s initiative. Separately, the Robinson clan will contribute additional funding to provide winter gear for the team.
Patron Matthew Robinson, mingles with students and staff advisor Ms. Leacia Patmore during Founder’s Day celebrations.
NAIMUN is the largest student-run conference in the world. It is staffed and organized by student volunteers from Georgetown University through the Georgetown International Relations Association, Inc. with which Robinson has been affiliated.
Robinson, an American-born, graduate of Georgetown University, and a second-year law student of Columbia University, said in determination to ‘give back to my school’ was at the heart of his decision to help the team.
Considering he never spent even a day as a student at Excelsior, his decision to “give back” created a curious yet welcoming venture. He was, however, quick to point out that while not actually an alumnus, his Excelsior roots run deep.
He is the son of Earl (Wire) Robinson and Althea Robinson, the former President of the Excelsior Alumni Association of Florida. Robinson is also the nephew of numerous Excelsiorians who has remained committed to their alma mater.
Responding to news of her son’s thoughtfulness, the former alumni President expressed appreciation.
“Giving the students exposure to the wider world, allowing them to dream big, gain more access to opportunities, and reach yet higher is a worthy cause,” the proud mother noted.
Matthew, a former President of the Georgetown University International Relations Association hopes this year’s project to mark the start of a long-term partnership between Excelsior and NAIMUN.
Excelsior’s student contingent to Maths Olympiad 2020
By Duane Coombs
After a creditable performance in the 2019 Maths Olympiad Competition, Excelsior’s 17 member contingent has started on its quest to do even better in the 2020 edition. Last Saturday, January 18, 2020, was the kick-off of the first round of the competition on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.
The annual competition, which is hosted by the Mathematics Department of UWI, was attended by top high school mathematicians who competed against each other to qualify for Jamaica’s team. Jamaica’s team will be participating in the annual Central American and Caribbean Regional Mathematical Olympiad. This event aims to give promising students a leg up on Mathematics education.
Two Excelsior High School students, Daneel Downer and Victoria Lewis were among the outstanding students last year and were awarded after turning in sterling performances at the 2019 Mathematical Olympiad.
Daneel Downer came within a hairsbreadth of finishing on top in the Grade 11 category and earned a laudable silver medal. She was the sole female among the awardees in her category. Meanwhile, Victoria picked up a Merit Award for her creditable sixth-place finish in the Grade 10 category.
In the wake of two of his students finishing in the top ten island-wide in 2019, chief tutor, and Excelsior alumnus, Mr. Darron Fraser, is anticipating even bigger things in various competitions this year. It is an ambition that is not misplaced.
And with the aim of shifting perceptions about Maths, Mr. Fraser, has acted as teacher, mentor, and foremost cheerleader since the inception of the program.