‘Excited but shocked’

Incoming head boy of Calabar High School Jevaunté Daley is still processing his emotions after obtaining five grade ones in his Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) subjects, the results of which were recently released.

Jevaunté received top grades for biology, chemistry, geography, physics, and communication studies.

“I am excited but shocked. I expected ones in some subjects but not all. But looking back at how hard I worked during the period, I said it was well-deserved. The hours I placed in the extra classes, the study guides, all of that paid off,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“For physics, I wasn’t sure; I was either expecting a one or a two… I spent most work on physics. Physics was the hardest subject,” he added.

The 17-year-old is grateful to his parents, who are both teachers, for the role they played in his success.

“When I was studying, if they passed and noticed I was struggling with something, they encouraged me to stop and take a break, drink some water, get some rest, and come back to it. They always had an eye on me during studying. Sometimes they took the book away from me to engage me in a conversation, because you shouldn’t be in the book 24/7,” he recalled.

“Anything I wanted, they would give it to me. If I wanted to go to extra class, they didn’t hesitate to give me the money to go. If I needed materials to be printed to release my eyes of screen time, they’d get it printed for me. Even though I am self-driven, I would go to them to ask for advice whenever I didn’t understand something,” added the Brandon Hill resident.

Daley is equally thankful to his teachers who were always in his corner.

“Calabar teachers are the best teachers I have ever met. They make themselves available right round the clock. If I text a teacher – say I am studying at 10 or 11 in the night – in less than five minutes, I will get a full, detailed response. When they usually have classes at school, they would invite students from other schools to come, majority of the time free of cost, and they would give them materials to study from. They ensured that students understood the concepts before going into the exams,” he stated.

Jevaunté’s father, Jeffeth Daley, acknowledged that his son is studious and disciplined; therefore, his excellent passes were anticipated.

“I wasn’t surprised based on his work ethic, but I am overly excited. He was always in the books; too dedicated. Apart from helping him with the materials, he was the one who took the initiative to do what he had to do. The only time he would consult us is if he’s in a bind and couldn’t find his way out, but apart from that, he’s there by himself,” said the acting head of the department of humanities at Donald Quarrie High School.

Although his father envisions a political pathway for him, Jevaunté is on a mission to pursue a career in either meteorology or marine biology. His father is willing to support whatever decision he makes after finishing upper sixth form next year.

“For me, especially when I saw him heading out to go to graduation, when I saw him put on his jacket and badges and things, I said, I am looking at the governor general. I see him in a political role, but he doesn’t see himself in that role. But I want to give him a free hand to do what he wants to do. I’ll back him 24 hours of the day. Whatever he does, I’ll be there for him. I’ll propel him along the way,” said the teacher of social studies and history.

Jevaunté, who also serves as president of Calabar’s Key Club and first vice-president of the Optimist Club, hopes to be a role model for his schoolmates in the areas of academics and leadership.

“As head boy, I am looking forward to a prosperous year. I have a book of plans that I want to achieve. I aim to do more for the student body and use myself as role model in terms of good grades and leadership,” he noted.