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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Joan Thomas Edwards – Excelsiorian Soaring To Excellence In Diplomacy
By Duane Coombs
Friday, September 24, 2021
Career diplomat, Joan Thomas Edwards, is the quintessential public servant: as invaluable as she is invisible; and whose unseen hand, nonetheless, makes things happen.
The 1983 Excelsior graduate and class valedictorian has risen to dizzying heights in Jamaica’s diplomatic corps. However, her alma mater and the lessons gleaned there are never far from her mind. Each accomplishment is regarded as another capsule in Excelsior’s enduring legacy of excellence from which she has benefitted.
Joan Thomas Edwards, a pillar of the Jamaican diplomatic corps, has worked tirelessly throughout her career to promote Brand Jamaica and has helped to shape the image of her country. She is an Excelsior gem and the embodiment of selfless public service, both as an accomplished diplomat and through her relentless community engagement.
And it all started at Excelsior High School, where the genesis of a distinguished career in public service first took root— fostered, she says, by a bevy of highly qualified and dedicated teachers who inspired her to pursue excellence.
At school, Joan was engaged in an array of activities that forged a delicate balance between academics and extra-curricular activities. Apart from being the captain of Excelsior’s 1983 Schools Challenge Quiz team, Joan was also a member of the Chess Club and the International Student Christian Fellowship (ISCF) in deference to her deeply held Christian faith.
“I was involved in student leadership through the student council,” Joan reminisces. “I learned to lead by example. Mr. Mark Loague, our Vice Principal, instilled this. Mr. Lindo Wong, our Principal, taught me the importance of discipline. Late coming was not tolerated, neither was unruly behavior.”
Joan is effusive in praise for all her teachers, most of whom, she says, ended up being her mentors; and who encouraged her to aim high in academic excellence. She has a particular appreciation for Ms. Maudlyn Mason, her Spanish teacher for five years, and Ms. Pearl Morgan, her history teacher, who awakened her thirst for knowledge and pursuit of excellence.
During her time at Excelsior, she says she was blessed to have been prepared for life by her teachers and fellow students who always encouraged her. She lists Science, the Arts, Technology, and Mathematics among her strong subjects. A strong appreciation for all these areas was inculcated during her years at Excelsior.
“I felt that I was prepared for life. Kudos to Lois Cooper, my English teacher, and Clive Brown for helping me to excel in those subjects,” She says. “Thanks to Mrs. Cynthia Powell and Cliff Hughes for being the driving force behind the school challenge quiz team and for the months of training and discipline. It has paid off.”
Following graduation from the Excelsior Community College— in which she had enrolled after high school, she matriculated at the University of the West Indies (UWI), from which she graduated with a BA in Social Science and Spanish. She entered the Foreign…
XLCR’S Christina Salmon Earns Player Of The Week Award – Christina Salmon Earns Player Of The Week Honors
By Duane Coombs
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Former Excelsior Eagle footballer, Christina Salmon, has kicked off her college career in impressive fashion in earning Player of the Week honors at Hill College in Texas.
The freshman earned the award as the Region V Division I Women’s Soccer Player of the Week on the back of her impressive goal-scoring prowess.
In just two games, Christina netted five goals, including a hat trick in a win over Paris Junior College to earn the coveted award for the week of September 16-25.
She is continuing where she left off at Excelsior, where she was the girls’ football team’s goal-scoring spark as the team won four consecutive championships under Coach Xavier Gilbert.
In the 2019 championship season, Christina netted 59 goals in 15 games in the ISSA School Girls competition to become the leading goal scorer.
She later copped three individual awards from ISSA for her exploits in leading Excelsior to the 2019 title. She copped the Top Goal-Scorer award with 59 goals, Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the entire season, and MVP in the final against Denham Town.
Kudos to Excelsior Lady Eagle Christina Salmon!
The JAAA National Senior and Junior Championships 2021 were held over the past four days. The championships acted as trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled for July 23 to August 8; the North American Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) U18 & U23 Championships – Jul 9-11, 2021 in San Jose, Costa Rica and the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, August 17-22, 2021.
Following the trials and pending confirmation by the JAAAs selection committee, four XLCR Eagles are expected to be on the team to Nairobi. The four were quite impressive at the National U20 Champs:
- Alexavier Monfries was 3rdd in 100m in 10.46s – the 2nd fastest ever by an Eagle and a mere .01sec off the school record.
- Devontie Archer was 2nd in the 400mH in 51.69s
- Malachi Johnson & Antonio Hanson were 3rd and 5th in the 400m in 46.83s (PB) and 47.31s respectively. Both are expected to feature on the national U20 4x400m Relay team.
All four ran on the XLCR Eagles championship 4x400mR team at the recent Boys Champs which set a new school record of 3:07.85.
Congrats to these four young men and to their coaches and support staff. Eagles ever soaring!
Other Eagles participating in the meet included:
- Sharvis Simmonds who was 4th in the 400mH in 54.85s
- Reuel Campbell, the third Eagle in the 400m final. He was 6th in 48.27s, a PB
In the female section the following Lady Eagles gave creditable performance:
Samoya Neil and Teiolla Harvey were 5th and 6th in the LJ with 5.59m & 5.29m respectively.
In the U18 Championships, the Eagles were represented by:
- Richard Hall – 5th in the 400mH in 56.22s
- Daniel Wright who ran 14.21 to get into the final
- Renaldino Medwinter who jumped 6.51 to take 8th in the LJ
The Lady Eagles were represented by Omarian Constable, Chenessa Davis, and Rhianna Lugg who were 4th, 5th & 6th respectively in the LJ.
The name ‘Excelsior” indicates superior quality which is demonstrated by the Excelsior High Athletics programme which continues to punch above its weight guided by the school motto Age Animo – Do it With Thy Might.
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