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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
ALUM NOMINATED FOR BRITISH MUSIC AWARD
By Duane Coombs
Monday October 10, 2022
LONDON, England: United Kingdom- based Brenda Duncan – Emmanuel(XLCR ’79) has been nominated for a music award in the in that country
Her song Claim It (It’s Already Yours) has been shortlisted for this year’s Reggae Song Of The Year in the Gospel genre fledgling Step FWD Awards in the UK.
Reacting to News of her nomination rhe former Harbour View resident said, “I don’t take this nomination lightly and thank God that I am able to reach out to others with the Good News.”
Voting is currently under way for the award which will be presented at an Award show, November 22, 2022at the Gaumont State Theatre in London, England.
By Duane Coombs
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Yesterday at least two Excelsiorians- Dr. Maureen Samms-Vaughan and Gaynor Downer – were among a slew of outstanding Jamaicans conferred with national honours during the Heroes Day Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on the lawn of King’s House
Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan was acknowledged for pioneering research, clinical work and policy development in child health, child development and behaviour. She was among eight outstanding Jamaicans awarded the Order of Jamaica.
Physiotherapist Gaynor Downer was conferred with the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, by the Government of Jamaica for her stellar contribution to sports and national development during a career spanning more than four decades.
We offer heartiest congratulations to both Dr. Maureen Samms- Vaughan and Gaynor Downer as exemplars of excellence, and for helping to keep the Excelsior flag soaring Yet Higher
Images courtesy of Evan Thompson
CLASS OF 1980 DELIVERS 30 COMPUTERS TO SCHOOL
By Duane Coombs
Thursday, November 17, 2022
A campus dappled with bright November sunshine was the perfect backdrop as the Class of 1980 again brought a ray of hope to students of Excelsior High School with the formal handing over of 30 desktop computers and a projector to the school on Monday November 7, 2022.
It was the culmination of the group’s commemoration of its 40th anniversary since graduating from Excelsior High School, as almost two dozen members converged on the Excelsior campus from various points in North America and Jamaica to mark the occasion.
Preceding the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, members of the Class of 1980 conducted Morning Devotion, complete with prayer, songs, scriptures, a special musical selection by a trio-Marcia Livingston, Novlette Fellows and Evan Thompson – and a special word of exhortation by class member, Rev. Claudette Williams-Brown. From there, it was a full slate of all-day activities on campus, which was spent interacting with students and staff.
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY
Led by classmate Jasmine Gray-Young, the formalities included prayer, heartfelt encouragements, and the cutting of the ribbon with Principal Deanroy Bromfield assisted by Pauline Kelly and select students, at the entrance of the room before filing into the newly unveiled Lab. The principal again lauded the class for its generosity and expressed the school’s appreciation for its continued support and engagement with of the alma mater. Sixth Former Amanda Ford, gave the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the students.
Being mindful of the aesthetics of the lab, the room has been repainted, furniture cleaned,resurfaced, varnished, and some decorative touches added, including dotting the walls with myriad inspirational messages.
During an impromptu address to the students present, former Head Girl, Dr. Marcia Livingston- Galloway, urged them to spend their time wisely and productively, and to find a cause beyond just academics through which to commit themselves, and to give back. It was a familiar theme which snaked its way through comments by various members of the class.
Explaining the inspiration behind the Class of 1980’s legacy project Dr. Livingston-Galloway said, “It Is the hope of the Class of 1980 that our computer donation will let the students know they matter.”
“It is also intended to be a means through which they can gain additional access to relevant academically related content, help develop their technological competencies, and provide opportunities for rich learning through meaningful academic interactions and exchanges within the global educational communities,” she continued.
The Class of 1980’s donation is part of its ongoing commitment to help expand online learning at Excelsior by providing digital resources the students need to succeed. It also highlights the school’s information technology initiative.
CAREER AWARENESS BOOTHS
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the class headed to the auditorium where an array of stations manned by professionals from a range of fields, including the JDF, Business,…
NEW GROUP TO FUND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLING AT XLCR
By Duane Coombs
Thursday, October 13, 2022
A newly formed group, The Excelsior 1976 Foundation, has announced a new partnership with Excelsior High School and the Family Life Ministries to underwrite a series of professional counseling sessions for troubled students at the alma mater.
The Excelsior 1976 Foundation is an offshoot of the Class of 1976’s virtual 45th anniversary reunion in 2021. It is a USA-based and registered non-profit entity which was incorporated in December 2021 in the wake of the class reunion.
Local-based representatives of the Foundation, including Richard DeLisser and William Rose, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the school and the Family Life Ministries. Under terms of this new tri-party agreement, The Foundation will provide the necessary funding to defray the cost of all counseling sessions.
According to spokesman Karl Chambers, VP of the group, the genesis of this initiative was a desire to make another meaningful contribution to the school that would be unique, impactful and enduring.
Having raised close to US$10,000.00 (approximately J$1, 530,000) from class members, after the reunion, to donate to the alma mater, there was a desire, in giving back, he said not to merely retrace the well-trod footprints of previous groups by funding the usual programs.
The group was therefore delighted, Chambers explained, when it was alerted to an existing Profession Counseling Program to which it could contribute. This initiative was settled on, in tandem with the principal, Mr. Deanroy Bromfield, after it was identified as one of the ongoing critical needs of the school.
It is under the aegis of Dr. Barry Davidson, a former Excelsior Head Boy, and his Family Life Ministries which has been doing pro bono work with the school in this area for some time. Despite the best of intentions there was always a limit to the number of students that could be accommodated. Now, with the 1976 Foundation on board, that will change, says Chambers.
He revealed that it is actually the group’s latest initiative since its inception some nine months ago. The first was an Academic Recovery Scholarship where, according to Chambers, The 1976 Foundation provided funding to compensate teachers providing extra lessons for students preparing for the June 2022 CXC Examinations.
The second, and more ambitious program, is the current Professional Counseling and Wellness Grant which will allow the Excelsior Guidance Counselor to refer students at no cost to either the student or the school.
Now with the promised dedicated funding in place, courtesy of The 1976 Foundation, it will vastly increase the number of students that can be seen by FLM, according to Chambers.
In order to realize its ambitious goal, The 1976 Foundation plans to continue its fundraising activity to help underwrite the cost of its projects.
Old Friends Renew Acquaintances 45 Years Later.
By Andre Taylor – Domville
Monday, November 7, 2022
Our shared journey commenced in September 1972, when Excelsior High School opened her gates to students new and old, for the beginning of another school year.
Those wide-eyed first formers were excited about their first exposure to high school life. For the next five years, we formed bonds that would last a lifetime. Leading more than sixty, of those now matured, Excelsorians to converge on the hallowed grounds of 137 Mountain View Avenue, in celebration of our 45th Anniversary Reunion, October 10th through 15th, 2022.
The Beginning – Getting Started
A planning committee including members of the six streams from the 1977 graduating class, met regularly to plan and organize the well-anticipated gathering. The mission statement was a memorable experience for all in attendance, as well as those who would hear about it later. It was important for us to keep our sibling relationship alive and well, and equally important for us to give back to the institution that shaped our lives, and prepared us to take our place as productive members of society. Satisfied with the arrangements, we set about preparing to host siblings from around the globe, at what we anticipated would be an unforgettable event.
Day One – Welcome Lyme
Monday evening, October 10, 2022, members of our group filtered into ’22 Jerk’ on Barbican Road in Liguanea. Excitement was palpable as we greeted beloved siblings. Some of us had not seen each other since our July 1977 graduation, forty-five years prior. The meet and greet lyme was now underway amidst an electric atmosphere. No amount of planning could have prepared us for the outpouring of love and unity that was now permeating this meeting place. We ate and drank while buzzing from place to place, catching up with old friends, and introducing spouses. Committee Chairperson, Althea Brown-Robinson, took a few minutes to address those in attendance; handing out our custom designed polo shirts and discussing the week’s activities. Everyone was raring to go.
Journey To St. Elizabeth – Day 2
Tuesday morning, October 11, 2022, before 6:00 a.m., we started arriving at the Excelsior campus, where a Knutsford Express Bus would pick up our group for a trip to St. Elizabeth. We had scheduled stops at Appleton Estate, Middle Quarters and the Black River Safari. As we traveled, a choice of raisin bread, cornbread or spice bun paired with a wedge of that favored cheddar cheese along with water a fruit punch or soda, reminded us of the palate tickling treats of our childhood.
We hit the ground running, as we accepted rum influenced cocktails upon arrival at the Appleton Estate, and then were whisked away to tour the grounds. The very informative tour included a session, where like connoisseurs, we learned how to identify rum aging and recognize ingredients that would influence the flavor of the products. A few of us chose the experience of bottling our own blend,…