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EXCELSIOR RECAPTURING ITS PAST GLORY

XCLR Gate

EXCELSIOR RECAPTURING ITS PAST GLORY
By Duane Coombs
Thursday December 7, 2017

These are among the best of times for Excelsior High School – this new era of renewal and overall excellence again taking shape at the school.

The evident revitalization continues apace with significant improvement being recorded across a range of disciplines – from sports to academics.

In the sporting arena, the Eagles are recently crowned back –to -back all Island champions in senior girls’ netball and emerged champions in girls’ football and boys U16 cricket. Added to this, Excelsior also made a commendable showing in track and field where the school realised its goal of topping 100 points this year in the annual Boys and Girls Championship, finishing sixth overall on the girls’ side. The school emerged the top Corporate Area Girls’ school at Champs.

Sportsmax cable TV station was on hand to present the school with a prize of $100,000.00 as its reward for being designated the number one high school in girls’ sports, according to a survey. The school has also been prominent in table tennis, Tai Kwon Do, cookery and other less high profile fields.

Success in sports has undoubtedly galvanized the school fraternity. It is a source of pride; everyone seems elated. It is part of the upward trajectory of the school as it embarks on an era of renewal, after years of seemingly being in the doldrums.

Yet the well ventilated resurgence in sports – most notably in cricket, track and field, netball, hockey and football- has tended to overshadow successes in other spheres of school life.

One of these areas of excellence is in the field of mathematics where the Grade 10 students recently recorded outstanding results in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.

According to reports, of the 242 Grade 10 students who sat the exam over the last two years, 234, , or some 96%, received passing grades. Equally impressive was the fact that in 2015, 138 of the 150 Grade 10 students were successful.

One student, second former Danielle Downer, reportedly earned a grade 2 in Add Maths and was a finalist in the Maths Olympiad where she finished in the top 10 of all students across the Caribbean. Another student, Davika Chambers represented Jamaica in the Carifta Chess competition in Panama.

There are two male Six Formers – Head Boy Raheim Bowes and Domilola Dada from Nigeria – who have 7 CAPE subjects each – 6 at one sitting all Grades Ones & Two’s in Maths, Physics, Chemistry etc.

Excelsior is reportedly tops in Jamaica in the Cape exams, with the school placing in first in Math, Add Math, Chemistry & Biology.

In English Language, the school also reportedly recorded close to an 80 % pass rate, for the first time, in the recent CSEC exams.

Further afield, Excelsior earned a $500,000.00 prize for topping the junior achievement competition after a student-created company, Kreole Harvest, won the 2016 award in the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) COMPNY OF THE YEAR programme.

Meanwhile, Excelsior’s school choir has been kept busy fulfilling engagements island-wide after its impressive showing in the All Together Sing competition.

So the evidence is clear: there is indeed a resurgence underway at Excelsior High School but none of this has been by happenstance. It is part of the overall strategy spearheaded by Principal Deanroy Bromfield to improve school-wide achievement which has unquestionably been bearing fruit.

So if the principal had managed to cop the coveted 2017 Principal of The Year Award, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports/ LASCO sponsored it would have been a well-deserved coda to a job well done. Nonetheless, the disappointment is salved by the knowledge that Excelsior continues to make strides in a cross-sections of school life; and the pace of renewal has quickened under Mr. Bromfield’s stewardship.

This evident across-the-board improvement has no doubt buoyed the spirits of those who have been in the trenches for years – teachers, alumni, parents and volunteers – trying to help Excelsior recapture its past glory.

But only a renewal of engagement, and an enduring commitment from all stake holders, will determine whether this new era of success is the break of a wave, or the rise of a tide.

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