Best friends top PEP stars in southern St James

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Best friends La-Sharna Leslie and Dajanaye Clarke now have something else in common. They have been selected as the top female students in southern St James, based on their performance in the recent Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams.

Usually, the award goes to one male and one female student but, separated by only two points, the girls were almost indistinguishable from each other. Leslie racked up a score of 342 out of 400 while Clarke scored 344. They are graduates of St Mary’s Preparatory School which is based in Montpelier, St James.

They said while they knew they did well in the exam, being named top female students came as a surprise.

“We didn’t know we were going to get awards today but we’re excited and we’re pumped and we’re grateful,” Leslie said after they both received laptops from Member of Parliament for St James Southern, Homer Davis.

“I almost drop down,” Clarke said comically.

Both girls, who were also the top two students at St Mary’s Prep, will attend Montego Bay High School for Girls starting September. They know their new laptops will come in handy as they focus on the sciences.

“I want to become a biochemist,” Clarke said.

Leslie, who wants to become a paediatrician, said, “I am very excited for high school.”

They are both looking forward to the end of summer and going back to the classroom.

Like Leslie and Clarke, top male student Jovoy Thomas has been given a big boost by the award. He will be attending Herbert Morrison Technical High School. He is also from St Mary Prep.

“I feel wonderful, I feel like I could rule the world right now,” he remarked with glee.

The St James Southern High Achievers Award is an annual event that is coordinated by the office of the Member of Parliament, Homer Davis.

Of the 15 schools within the constituency, 123 students on Thursday received bursaries of $25,000 in cash and book vouchers to assist them with their journey to high school.