Education

Decisions, decisions, decisions

June 04, 2014

There's no doubt about it, if you want to get ahead in life whilst also being able to experience true peace of mind, you're going to need to be a decisive type of individual. Everyday life is like a long journey along a very winding road. Now, as we travel along the road of life we will continue to come to sets of crossroads. At that point, we need to assemble all of the knowledge which we possess, and coupled with our intuitive gut feelings, make a definite decision as to which way to go, which road to take which will ultimately get us to exactly where we want to be. Yes indeed, there's no doubt about it, as the title of this article simply and succinctly puts it, life is full of decisions, decisions, decisions.
Now, there are a whole lot of very timid, not too sure of themselves people spread throughout this great big world of ours, who it would appear are literally scared stiff to make any decisions at all. These people are what we refer to as fence sitters. They sit on the wall, figuratively speaking, trying to make a decision as to what to do about their problems, and which way they should travel.
Then they start down one road rather shakily, only to turn right round once they have traveled a little way in one direction, and then scratching their head with a kind of helpless, completely lost look on their face, turn right around and proceed in another direction. But as they travel, they do not appear to be confident that they're on the right track at all as they very nervously shuffle along all the time looking absolutely lost.
Yes my friend, if you wish to succeed at all that you do in life, you simply must become a decisive person for as Dr. Myles Munroe so correctly points out, our lives today are the result of the sum total of the decisions we have made to date. So if you wish to become a decisive person, you need the following.
Number one: You need to have high self-esteem, thus you fully believe in yourself and your ability to do great things in life. Number two: You need to be a very positive, upbeat type of individual. Number three: You need to have specific goals and plans in place to assist you in achieving these goals in a specific time frame. Finally, number three, you need to make direct contact each and every day with your creator, God who will intuitively guide you in the right direction.
o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com. Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Scotia Bank's Leah Davis Promotes HIV Awareness
Scotia Bank's Leah Davis Promotes HIV Awareness

June 02, 2014

Leah Davis, Scotiabank’s Senior Manager of Marketing and Public Relations, read to students at Sandilands Primary School recently in an effort to heighten their HIV awareness...

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Hall of Fame Quarter Back to Conduct Youth Football Clinic

May 29, 2014

Hall of Fame quarterback and former Dolphin player, Dan Marino along with ten of his legendary friends will conduct a youth football clinic this Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 9 am to 12 noon at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium...

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150 offered Baha Mar jobs
150 offered Baha Mar jobs

May 28, 2014

BAHA Mar yesterday offered more than 150 people jobs at the $3.5bn Cable Beach resort that is set to open on December 8...

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Xavier's student is the 'best and brightest'

May 28, 2014

Donovan Butler, 11, a sixth grade student at Xavier's Lower School was recognized over the weekend as the "best and brightest" student coming out of the primary schools this year. Donovan was chosen over 117 of his peers to walk away with the top prize of a $5,000 scholarship and a computer at the 18th annual Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards Program (BPSSYAP).
He was the first student from Xavier's Lower School to claim the prize in the program's 18-year history.
Donovan realized he was being named the "best and brightest" when the winner was described as an individual who had helped his school to win two relays as a member of the track team and when it was announced that the student's principal had written that he was not only a good academic student, but also a well-rounded student.
"I am elated with my performance which caused me to win, and I am going on to SAC (St. Augustine's College) in September where I hope to do well and win more awards," the top primary school student said.
The son of David and Lorrieann Butler has a 3.92 grade point average and has been first in his class for six consecutive years. He has also made the Principal's List for academic excellence annually.
After being declared the program's winner, Donovan, who is also the second place finisher of The Bahamas National Spelling Bee, departed for Washington D.C. and the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He and third place finisher in the Bahamian nationals, Franquel Hagan, from Hugh Campbell Primary School in Grand Bahama, accompanied spelling bee champion Prachi Kondapuram. Donovan placed second in back-to-back nationals.
At Xavier's Lower School, the versatile Donovan, is also a member of the Junior Achievement team, the winning Junior Junkanoo team, recorder ensemble and choir. He has also won his category in the 2013 Commonwealth Writers Poetry Competition.
Donovan also assists with coaching the Grasshoppers team in the T-ball division in the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) and has been a member of several JBLN national teams.
Lyford Cay International School student Tamsin Nottage was the first runner up in the BPSSYAP. She was awarded a $4,000 scholarship as well as a computer during the ceremony on Saturday at the Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries on Carmichael Road.
Tamsin, who maintains a 4.0 grade point average, has led fundraising drives to assist in the Haiti earthquake relief effort, the Philippine disaster relief as well as Hands for Hunger.
The second through fifth place runners-up were all given $3,000 awards. They were Hope Town Primary School's Bessie Lowe, Sunland Baptist Academy School's Davon Cartwright, Saints Francis and Joseph's Amari Stuart and Man-O-War Cay Primary's Brittany Weatherford. Along with their scholarship awards, Lowe and Cartwright also received computers. Stuart received a tablet phone.
Lowe, who is also a dynamic student, was overwhelmed at finishing in the top three. She plays soccer, swims, sails, does gymnastics and sings in her church's praise band. She placed second in the 2013 Commonwealth Writers Poetry Competition.
Students placing sixth through 15th received $2,000 scholarship awards -- Oakes Field Primary's Jada Culmer, Ulric Ferguson Primary's Iesha Daxon, Amy Roberts Primary's Rayvyn McKinney, Nassau Christian Academy's Sh'ton Pickering, St. Andrew's International School's Reagan Russell, St. Paul's Methodist College's Ciera Sweeting, Uriah McPhee Primary School's Davon Johnson, Kingsway Academy's Kia Basden, Maurice E. Moore Primary School's Justin Bain and Bishop Michael Eldon School's William Moss.
Twelve students were named finalists and awarded $1,500 scholarships -- Simms Primary's Jacob Bailly, Garvin Tynes Primary's Deavon Evans, Lower Deadman's Cay's Isaac Fox, Lucaya International School's Isabella Gouthro, Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic's Chavette Harvey, Freeport Primary School's Lakia Johnson, The Meridian School's Reagan MacKenzie, Tarpum Bay Primary's Tiara McKinney, Angels Academy's Ashley Newell, Sandilands Primary's Dylan Russell, St. Frances De Sales Primary's Malia Sweeting and Gerald Cash Primary's Chesternique Thomas.
Thirty-two students were named semi-finalists and awarded $1,000 scholarships -- St. Cecilia's Catholic Primary's Dontae Beneby, Tambearley School's Tanya Bethel, Gateway Christian Academy's Keri Bowleg, Bayview Academy's Leander Braynen, St. Thomas More's Rebecca Bingham, P.A. Gibson Primary's Sierra Farrington, First Step Academy's Jayden Ferguson, Charles W. Saunders' Branee Gardiner, Albury Sayle's Chardonay Garrick, Governor's Harbour Primary's Equola Gibson, Christian Heritage School's Miranda Jack, C.W. Sawyer Primary's Daijah Johnson, Temple Christian School's McKelton Johnson, Walter Parker Primary School's Sellene Johnson, United Estates Primary's Trevon Johnson, Palmdale Primary School's Pooja Krishna, Excelsior Elementary School's Joshia Miller, Queen's College's Riya Miller, St. Anne's Primary's Branae Minnis, Grand Bahama Seventh-day Adventist School's Roganne Moncur, Emma E. Cooper Primary's Kristman Moss, Spanish Wells All Age School's Ariana Pinder, Rock Sound Primary's Johnnecia Pinder, R.N. Gomez All age School's Tonique Richardson, Agape Christian School's Kenedee Romer, Fresh Creek Primary School's D'Ondre Smith, St. Andrew's Anglican School's Kazmyn Smith, Hillcrest Academy's Khearah Storr, Sadie Curtis Primary's Akila Thomas, Orange Creek Primary's Erin Turner, Trinity Christian School's Ryan Wilson Jr. and Bartlett Hill Primary's Lukajane Kellman.
A family island student and a New Providence student, who would have been semi-finalists if the Foundation and Awards Committee had the money to award them with disbursements, were the recipients of computers. They were Centreville Primary School's Khaliyah Miller and Dominion Technical Primary School's Aaron Farrington.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald said the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation awards ceremony showcases the country's next cadre of shining stars. He believes the awards program is about more than just representing prizes, scholarships and accolades to deserving students - it is about the hope and joy that lies in store for the nation.
"The attributes that qualified you for this award are the same that you will need to earn your diploma with distinction," said Fitzgerald. He told the children that they are already poised to succeed.
Each year a select group of students are nominated to accept one of the most prestigious national recognitions for primary school students in this country. This awards program, which is the premier program for primary school students, is an opportunity to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, leadership ability, campus and community involvement and good citizenship.
An independent panel of judges reviewed the portfolios of the 118 students nominated to represent their respective schools from throughout the country to determine the winners. Judges selected winners based on the merits of the achievements documented in the students' portfolio, which included transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation and copies of awards.
The awards are a one-time financial scholarship payable to a Bahamian educational institution for secondary school purposes. This year the Bahamas Primary School Foundation awarded over $91,000 in scholarships and prizes.
The competition, established in 1997, was founded to fill a void in recognizing young achievers, because it was felt that major emphasis was being placed on the achievements of high school students.
The program was introduced by Ricardo P. Deveaux, president and chief executive officer of The Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation. Deveaux was impressed with the Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program and felt the need to establish a national awards program in The Bahamas. He was, himself, one of seven finalists in the 1992 Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program; Deveaux had flunked out of a private high school in 1983, and was motivated to provide an opportunity for students who are striving for excellence.
2014 Finalists
Winner -- Donovan Butler, Xavier's Lower School, New Providence
1st runner-up -- Tamsin Nottage, Lyford Cay International School, New Providence
2nd runner-up -- Bessie Lowe, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
3rd runner-up -- Davon Cartwright, Sunland Baptist Academy, Grand Bahama
4th runner-up -- Amari Stuart, Sts. Francis and Joseph, New Providence
5th runner-up -- Brittany Weatherford, Man-O-War Cay Primary, Abaco
6th runner-up -- Jada Culmer, Oakes Field Primary, New Providence
7th runner-up -- Iesha Daxon, Ulric Ferguson Primary, Crooked Island
8th runner-up -- Rayvyn McKinney, Amy Roberts Primary, Abaco
9th runner-up -- Sh'ton Pickering, Nassau Christian Academy, New Providence
10th runner-up -- Reagan Russell, St. Andrew's International School, New Providence
11th runner-up -- Ciera Sweeting, St. Paul's Methodist College, Grand Bahama
12th runner-up -- Davon Johnson, Uriah McPhee Primary, New Providence
13th runner-up -- Kia Basden, Kingsway Academy
14th runner-up -- Justin Bain, Maurice E. Moore Primary School, Grand Bahama
15th runner-up -- William Moss, Bishop Michael Eldon School, Grand Bahama
Finalists
Jacob Bailly, Simms Primary, Long Island
Deavon Evans, Garvin Tynes Primary, New Providence
Isaac Fox, Lower Deadman's Cay, Long Island
Isabella Gouthro, Lucaya International School, Grand Bahama
Chavette Harvey, Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic, Grand Bahama
Lakia Johson, Freeport Primary School, Grand Bahama
Reagan MacKenzie, The Meridian School, New Providence
Tiara McKinney, Tarpum Bay Primary, Eleuthera
ashley Newell, Angels Academy, Abaco
Dylan Russell, Sandilands Primary, New Providence
Malia Sweeting, St. Frances De Sales Primary Abaco
Chesternique Thomas, Gerald Cash Primary, New Providence
Semi-finalists
Dontae Beneby, St. Cecilia's Primary, New Providence
Tanya Bethel, Tambearley School, New Providence
Keri Bowleg, Gateway Christian Academy, Bimini
Leander Braynen, Bayview Academy, New Providence
Rebecca Bingham, St. Thomas More Catholic, New Providence
Sierra Farrington, P.A. Gibson Primary, Eleuthera
Jayden Ferguson, First Step Academy, New Providence
Branee Gardiner, Charles W. Saunders, New Providence
Chardonay Garrick, Albury Sayle Primary, New Providence
Equola Gibson, Governor's Harbour Primary, Eleuthera
Miranda Jack, Christian Heritage School, New Providence
Daijah Johnson, C.W. Sawyer Primary, New Providence
McKelton Johnson, Temple Christian School, New Providence
Sellene Johnson, Walter Parker Primary, Grand Bahama
Trevon Johnson, United Estates Primary, San Salvador
Pooja Krishna, Palmdale Primary School, New Providence
Joshia Miller, Excelsior Elementary School, New Providence
Riya Miller, Queen's College, New Providence
Branae Minnis, St. Anne's Primary, New Providence
Roganne Moncur, Grand Bahama SDA School
Kristman Moss, Emma E. Cooper Primary, Eleuthera
Ariana Pinder, Spanish Wells All Age, Eleuthera
Johnnecia Pinder, Rock Sound Primary, Eleuthera
Tonique Richardson, R.N. Gomez All Age, Berry Island
Kenedee Romer, Agape Christian School, Abaco
D'Ondre Smith, Fresh Creek Primary, Andros
Kazmyn Smith, St. Andrew's Anglican School, Exuma
Khearah Storr, Hillcrest Academy, New Providence
Akila Thomas, Sadie Curtis Primary, New Providence
Erin Turner, Orange Creek Primary, Cat Island
Ryan Wilson Jr., Trinity Christian School, New Providence
Lukajane Kellman, Bartlett Primary, Grand Bahama
Khaliyah Miller, Centreville Primary, New Providence
Aaron Farrington, Dominion Technical Primary, Grand Bahama
Past winners
2013 -- Lauryn Rolle, St. Thomas More Catholic School
2012 -- Nadja Simon, Genesis Academy, New Providence
2011 -- Anna Albury, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
2010 --Jared Fitzgerald, Temple Christian School, New Providence
2009 -- Khes Adderley, Temple Christian School, New Providence
2008 -- James Boyce, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
2007 -- Taran Jay Carey, Tarpum Bay Primary School, Eleuthera
2006 -- George F.D. Zonicle, Bahamas Academy Elementary School, New Providence
2005 -- Shridat Jadoo, Maurice Moore Primary School, Grand Bahama
2004 -- Saul Salonga, Mary Star of The Sea (Catholic) School, Grand Bahama
2003 -- Tenielle Curtis, Sts. Francis and Joseph School, New Providence
2002 -- Zachary Lyons, Queen's College, New Providence
2001 -- Kenny Roberts, Spanish Wells All Age School, Eleuthera
2000 -- Sasha Bain, Walter Parker Primary, Grand Bahama
1999 -- Tiffany Moncur, Carmichael Primary School, New Providence
1998 -- Andrea Moultrie, St. John's College, New Providence
1997 -- Vashti Darling, St. John's College, New Providence

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Public school administrators complete certification program

May 28, 2014

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) recently graduated its final cohort of students.
The 37 administrators completed the 12-month IEL course on leadership, the school environment, curriculum development, school finance, research and evaluation, community relations and issues and trends in education.
Lionel Sands, director of education, commended the graduates for believing that the growth of the nation's educational system required "effective" and "efficient" leaders who were willing to adapt their priorities to meet the demands of today.
Sands told the administrators that the pins they received at their May 22 graduation represented their willingness to grow in their vocation.
"Our schools are filled with students who have various learning abilities and who come from varied backgrounds, therefore you must be capable of managing learning academies within your classrooms. Each academy must serve the needs of your students."
The education director said that, as the head teachers on their respective school campuses, they must work with their teachers for the good of the schools. He told them to listen to their teachers' advice, and wherever practical, take the advice, embrace their ideas and give them credit for it.
"Leadership can be rewarding when you are member of a team," said Sands. He reminded them that it could also be frustrating if they go at it alone.
As the class was the final one to graduate from IEL as it is today, a program sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology through a partnership with The College of The Bahamas, going forward, Sands said the IEL would be included in the offerings of the Professional Development Institute, a training center for education stakeholders located at the former Mabel Parker Primary School.
He said the IEL would not be retired, as it is necessary for the development of schools.
"The Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald is of the view that any teacher seeking upwardly mobility in the administrative path must do IEL prior to applying for a position. That way, the cart will not be before the horse," Sands said.
The IEL program was implemented in 2007 under former Minister of Education Alfred Sears. To date 348 administrators have participated in the institute.

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Prachi Kondapuram starts her bid for coveted Scripps National Spelling Bee title

May 28, 2014

Queen's College (Q.C) student Prachi Kondapuram, 11, is among 218 spellers hoping to make it past the preliminaries and into the semi-finals of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee to give herself an opportunity to take to the stage and battle it out for the coveted title of champion of the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The bee got underway today at 8 a.m. with competition through Thursday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Kondapuram, the winner of the 17th annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee, competes today in the preliminaries test, which is the first of three distinct segments of the competition that includes the semi-finals and championship finals.
Kondapuram is known as Speller Number Eight among the competitors from the 50 United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Europe, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.
Prior to traveling to Washington, Kondapuram had said she hoped to get past the written rounds and into the televised speaking rounds. ESPN will broadcast the Championship Finals from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, May 29.
Kondapuram was accompanied to the bee by The Bahamas' second place finisher, Donovan Butler from Xavier's Lower School, and third place winner, Franquel Hagan from Hugh Campbell Primary School in Grand Bahama.
In the history of the bee there have been two winners from the Caribbean claiming the title -- Puerto Rico's Hugh Tosteson in 1975, with the correct spelling of incisor, and Jamaica's Jody-Anne Maxwell in 1998, who correctly spelled chiaroscurist.
The road to the Scripps Spelling Bee began with more than 11 million students participating in classrooms, schools and locally-sponsored bees. This year's group of competitors is 51 percent girls and 49 percent boys. Kondapuram will be going up against a field that has 13 semifinalists who have returned from last year. Two spellers, Vanya Shivashankar and Ashwin Veeramani, have siblings who have previously won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Hussain Godhrawala of Barnwell, South Carolina, is the youngest speller in the competition at age eight. The spellers range in age from eight to 15 years old, but more than 86 percent are between the ages of 12 and 14 and among the field, 138 spellers speak more than one language.
The National Spelling Bee started in 1925 with nine contestants. The E.W. Scripps Company took ownership in 1941 and, after not holding the competition for three years during World War II, has managed the bee continuously since 1946. This year marks the 70th year that Scripps has operated the National Spelling Bee.

Competition schedule on ESPN
Round two (preliminaries)
Wednesday, May 28 -- 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. EDT
Round three (preliminaries)
Wednesday, May 28 -- 1:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. EDT
The announcement of semifinalists will immediately follow the conclusion of round three and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Semifinals
Thursday, May 29 -- 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT
The announcement of championship finalists will immediately follow the conclusion of round six and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Championship finals
Thursday, May 29 -- 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. EDT

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Custom Computers to reward students for excellence

May 28, 2014

For the seventh consecutive year, Custom Computers Ltd. will reward excellence in education through its annual "A's for Excellence" campaign.
Every student who earns at least one "A" grade, or its equivalent, in his or her final report card for the 2013-2014 academic year may enter for a chance to win a prize. The primary school prize will be an HP 18.5 desktop computer; the high school prize winner will receive a Samsung 15.6-inch laptop; the college winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy 3 Tablet.
New to the campaign this year is the fact that family island schools with the most entries will receive a multifunction printer.
"This event is very important to us each year, and we warmly encourage all Bahamian schools and colleges to participate as a way of rewarding our many talented students who work hard every day to excel in their studies," said Custom Computers Director Pia Farmer. "We are particularly excited to be offering a prize for the family island school with the most entries this time, and are striving to spread the word to as many institutions and educators as possible across the country."
Students studying at the primary, secondary and tertiary level at registered institutions throughout The Bahamas are eligible to enter. No purchase is necessary. To enter, New Providence students are asked to take a copy of their report card or transcript to one of the Custom Computers Know-How Stores in the Harbour Bay Shopping Plaza, on Cable Beach or at the Solomon's Super Center and fill out an entry form. Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Family Island students may enter online at www.AforExcellence.com. Students can enter once for each "A" grade they have received in any given subject.
Deadline for all submissions is 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 10. The random prize drawings will take place on Friday, August 15. For additional information on the prizes for each category, entry rules and ongoing updates, please visit www.AforExcellence.com.

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Teacher cadets encouraged to take note of best teaching practices

May 28, 2014

Teacher cadets were encouraged to take note of current best-teaching practices and the latest learning tools in education during the recent Future Teachers of The Bahamas National Conference.
The 140 cadets from public and private schools around the country were told by Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Jerome Fitzgerald that their presence in the Future Teachers Programme indicated that they were capable of applying their abilities to obtain excellent results. He encouraged them to prepare themselves well, so that they would be equipped to prepare for the country's 21st century students.
"Making the choice to enter the teaching profession is synonymous with making the choice to be a role model for students who will observe you daily," said Fitzgerald at the one-day conference that was held under the theme "Cultivating Educators of the Highest Quality".
Fitzgerald told the future teachers that they must see themselves in the vital role of nation builders whose work directly affects the national development of the country. And that they would be a part of the plan to transform education and assist with the reorganization required to prevent students from falling through the cracks.
"Teachers of the future, you will be charged with the task of equipping our students to succeed in an ever-changing global society. However, you will not be able to assist them if you are not prepared. We have a diverse student population, therefore, we must employ differentiated teaching methods. It is imperative that you take note of current best teaching practices and the latest learning tools in education.
Director of Youth Darren Turnquest, who spoke to the cadets about quality education being of a national imperative, told the future educators that teachers are called to a higher standard and must rise above the standard in order to engage and effect change in society.
"Ignite the fire that every student has within," he challenged. "Engage every student despite his or her challenges. Have an individual success plan to empower students to achieve their own success. Provide an enabling environment," he advised. He told the cadets that a positive classroom environment would yield positive results.
Future Teachers of The Bahamas Programme participant Philane Sargent, an 11th grade student at the C.R. Walker Senior School, said during the conference she learned that as an educator, she must be a mentor, teach with passion, think smart and think ahead.
McTair Grant, a 12th grade student at Eight Mile Rock Senior School in Grand Bahama, said being a part of the program opened his eyes to the reality of the teaching profession.
"I am now aware of the in-depth skill and professionalism that is involved in teaching," said Grant, who wants to obtain a post-secondary education degree in mathematics. "Students come to school to be mentored and even receive the parenting that they do not get at home," he said.
Teleos Christian School's 10th grade student, Princess McHardy, a 10th-grader at Teleos Christian School, said the program taught her that she should be a teacher of quality, and be there to help her students through their struggles and problems.
During the conference, the cadets participated in essay, speech, poster and logo competitions, which organizers hoped would inspire creative thought, foster positive contribution to the field of education and promote innovation that can be used in future classrooms amongst the cadets.
Doris Johnson Senior School won the logo competition.
Alexus Francis of Doris Johnson School took the poster competition; T'andria Wright of C.C. Sweeting Senior School finished second, with Brittany Deal of Doris Johnson School, third.
The essay competition was won by Queen's College student Alexia Major. Ashley McClain from St. John's College was second and Vincent King of Queen's College was third.
The speech competition was captured by Patiqua Rolle of Jordan Prince Williams School. Ashley McClain of St. John's College took the second place trophy and Shantelle Beneby of Jordan Prince Williams finished third.

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Enjoy life now!

May 28, 2014

You know, as I have written about on many, many occasions in the past in these articles, everything in life is in fact a choice. In fact, I remember Dr. Myles Munroe in an interview I did with him for my success files series stating the following. Dr. Munroe said, "Our present day life is the result of the sum total of the choices we have made to date." So our future will be governed by the choices we make each and every day. So, having stated that and thus set the tone, the foundation for today's lesson, let me ask you a very simple question, are you enjoying, really enjoying your life?
Well D. Paul you need to understand that I'm really struggling right now as I'm working exceptionally hard to build a good life for me and my family. So, you mean you're not really enjoying yourself right now? No, I'm far too busy working non-stop so that eventually when the house is paid off and the kid's education is taken care of, well then, I suppose I'll be able to finally start to enjoy life a little. My friend, this unfortunately is how a whole lot of people are actually living their lives right now.
Well Joel Osteen addressed this important subject in a talk he gave on television recently, and he gave his audience a command and it's contained in the title of this article, enjoy life now. You simply must stop constantly putting your happiness in layaway, and thus start to enjoy life now. You need to savor every moment of each day and be thankful to your creator for the progress you're making, however slow it may appear to be. Yes indeed, you need to enjoy life now!
To assist you with this most important task, I'd like to suggest the following -- number one, you need to be involved in some form of work which you really like to do, something which gives you great joy coupled with a genuine feeling of accomplishment. So, even though you're working real hard you're still enjoying it each and every day. Number two, always remember that balance is an extremely important part of life. You may indeed work very hard, however, you need to set aside some periods of time for enjoyment and rest, this is absolutely essential in order for you to have a well-balanced life. So my friend, I do hope and pray, that you have taken today's lesson very seriously, and thus you will vow to enjoy life now!
o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.

Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Custom Computers Holds Seventh Annual "A's For Excellence" Campaign

May 27, 2014

Custom Computers Ltd. is once again proud to reward excellence in education through their annual “A’s for Excellence” campaign...

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Special Needs Program at Palmdale Primary Private Sector Voluntary Project

May 22, 2014

The special needs program at Palmdale Primary School provides instruction and therapy to 12 boys and girls aged 7 to 15, in the loving care of teachers Ms. Garcia and Ms. Elliott...

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Recognizing the who's who of primary schools in The Bahamas

May 21, 2014

The search for the best and brightest students coming out of primary schools began in November 2013, when administrators began keeping an eye out for the shining achievers who will, this year, be awarded a share of approximately $110,000 in scholarships and prizes at the 18th annual Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards program.
The winner will be named National Primary School Student of the Year and walk away with the top prize of a $5,000 scholarship and a computer.
The first runner-up will receive a $4,000 scholarship as well as a computer, and $3,000 will be awarded to the second through fifth runners-up. The second and third runners-up will also receive a computer; the fourth runner-up will receive a tablet phone. Sixth through 15th place finalists will each receive a $2,000 scholarship, with 12 finalists receiving a $1,500 scholarship each. Thirty-two semi-finalists will walk away with a $1,000 scholarship.
Two students, one from the Family Islands and another from New Providence, who would have been semi-finalists if the Foundation and Awards Committee had the money to award them the disbursement, will also be the recipients of computers.
An independent panel of judges is expected to review the portfolios of the 118 students nominated to represent their respective schools from throughout the country and determine the winners. Judges will select winners based on the merits of the achievements documented in the students' portfolio, which will include transcripts, essays, letters of recommendations and copies of awards. Students will be judged without regard to the schools they attend, color, creed, religious affiliation, nationality or family heritage.
Winners will be announced on Saturday, May 24 at the Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries on Carmichael Road. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.
"Each year a select group of students are nominated to accept one of the most prestigious national recognition for primary school students in this country. This awards program, which is the premier program for primary students is an excellent opportunity to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, leadership ability, campus and community involvement and good citizenship," said Ricardo P. Deveaux, president and chief executive officer of The Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation.
Children are awarded a one-time financial scholarship payable to a Bahamian educational institution for secondary school purposes only. The recipient has one year to access the award. The number of awards meted out annually depends on the number of corporate and civic donors that support the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards Program.
The competition, established in 1997, was founded to fill a void in recognizing young achievers, because it was felt that major emphasis was being placed on the achievements of high school students.
The program was introduced by Deveaux, who was impressed with the Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program and felt the need to establish a national awards program in The Bahamas. Deveaux was one of seven finalists in the 1992 Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program. Deveaux himself had flunked out of a private high school in 1983, and was motivated to provide an opportunity for students who are striving for excellence.
The judges assembled to identify the winner and scholarship finalists include Jacqueline Bethel, chairman; Autherine Turnquest-Hanna, deputy chairman; Philip Stubbs, chief tally judge; Beryl Armbrister, Rubyann Darling, Zelma Dean, Lionel Elliott, Tanya Wright, Sister Mary Benedict Pratt, Philip Simon, Barry Wilmott, Nakera Simms-Symonette and Stuart Howell.
According to Deveaux, the judges had a difficult task identifying the 2014 winners, as each nominee was qualified to be selected as the student of the year.

Past winners
2013 -- Lauryn Rolle, St. Thomas More Catholic School
2012 -- Nadja Simon, Genesis Academy, New Providence
2011 -- Anna Albury, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
2010 --Jared Fitzgerald, Temple Christian School, New Providence
2009 -- Khes Adderley, Temple Christian School, New Providence
2008 -- James Boyce, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
2007 -- Taran Jay Carey, Tarpum Bay Primary School, Eleuthera
2006 -- George F.D. Zonicle, Bahamas Academy Elementary School, New Providence
2005 -- Shridat Jadoo, Maurice Moore Primary School, Grand Bahama
2004 -- Saul Salonga, Mary Star of The Sea (Catholic) School, Grand Bahama
2003 -- Tenielle Curtis, Sts. Francis and Joseph School, New Providence
2002 -- Zachary Lyons, Queen's College, New Providence
2001 -- Kenny Roberts, Spanish Wells All Age School, Eleuthera
2000 -- Sasha Bain, Walter Parker Primary, Grand Bahama
1999 -- Tiffany Moncur, Carmichael Primary School, New Providence
1998 -- Andrea Moultrie, St. John's College, New Providence
1997 -- Vashti Darling, St. John's College, New Providence

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Education ministers to meet

May 21, 2014

A $2 million price tag has been made available by the government to underwrite the cost of hosting the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) in The Bahamas. At the end of the conference, during which the 54 commonwealth states will engage in dialogue on education, it is expected that the states will issue a clear statement on the way forward in education for the next 15 years.
This is the first time that The Bahamas will host the triennial meeting of commonwealth education ministers that will be held June 22-26, 2015 at the Atlantis resort. It will only be the third time the conference is being hosted by a country from the Caribbean region.
According to Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald, two new features have been added to CCEM -- a regional ministerial caucus to be held on June 22 and a small states meeting to be held on June 23. The ministerial caucus will provide ministers with the opportunity to discuss issues of relevance to their region and enable them to address the need to create a balance between politics and policy. The small states meeting will give ministers of education from the 31 small states of the British Commonwealth the chance to discuss critical and problematic issues affecting their countries.
The theme of the 19th CCEM is "Quality Education for Equitable Development: Performance, Paths and Productivity". The meeting will provide opportunities for ministers, senior education officials and other education stakeholders to deliberate on the priority and emerging issues identified by the Commonwealth Ministerial Working Group (established at the 18th conference) as they continue to be reflected in the evolving global framework for development and the economic and social advancement and growth of member states and their citizens.
The specific objectives of the five-day conference are to increase the understanding of commonwealth ministers and senior officials of critical issues in education; provide a forum for the discussion of the issues and the sharing of good practices within the commonwealth; examine barriers to equity, access and quality education and identify key enabling factors to address the issues; gain the momentum of ministers to specific actions identified at the conference; discuss the process for aligning plans and strategies to support the achievement of the new goals and targets of the post-2015-education development framework within the commonwealth's priorities, processes and platforms and discuss and agree on the steps to take forward any new mandates and actions on global issues that resonate with and impact on priority education concerns of the commonwealth.
In addition to the principal ministerial meeting, over the course of the five days a number of other meetings will be held, including a senior officials' meeting, teachers' forum, youth forum and stakeholders' forum.
In addition, the conference will facilitate the exchange of best practice in education and its related fields, promote goodwill and foster mutual respect and cooperation between delegates and member states.

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Shock Treatment participants get a lesson in technical education

May 21, 2014

As a part of the Ministry of National Security's Shock Treatment program, a group of 22 at-risk boys were recently exposed to several trade disciplines while touring the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
The program's initial participants are from T. A. Thompson Junior High School and C.C. Sweeting Senior High School. According to Barbara Cartwright, manager of the Citizen Security Unit of the Ministry of National Security, school guidance counselors played a pivotal role in identifying the boys who would be included in the program.
"Apparently there was a lot of fighting, stealing, parents complaining about students coming home late. Also, most of them admitted to smoking, and a few of them admitted to being in gangs. What we're trying to do is show them a glimpse into the results of making bad choices. We feel BTVI would be able to stimulate and encourage them," said Cartwright.
BTVI's Dean of Construction Trades Alexander Darville encouraged the young men and told them that they do not have to be a product of their environments.
"You have to think about the end results. The mere reason you are here today shows that someone cares. BTVI is an institution where you can come, get a discipline and make some money," said Darville.
Kendra Samuels, BTVI's admissions officer, said BTVI is prepared to offer the boys another level of education.
"Skilled labor is needed, and the Shock Treatment program is trying to heighten their awareness of that. Our doors here at BTVI are open for them if they have the passion and the thirst for knowledge," said Samuels.
The boys, aged 11 to 17, are among the first to participate in the intervention program, which will see a new installment of vulnerable young males on a monthly basis.
"To see the amount of young people in prison isn't thrilling. If we don't save them now, we'll have to manage them later," said Pastor Carlos Reid, director of the Shock Treatment program.
The program allows young men to experience first-hand the consequences of deviant behavior. Over the course of the three-day intensive program, the young men visit Her Majesty's Prisons, the morgue and a gravesite. They are expected to engage in further training over the next two years, during which time they will be monitored, evaluated and if necessary, an intervention will be performed. Ultimately, the program will provide them with positive alternatives.
"One of the objectives is to place them in a position to make positive choices. We want to expose them to different disciplines," said Reid.

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Bad examples everywhere

May 21, 2014

From the time we are little children, we basically learn how to act and behave by the actions, the behavior of those whom we're surrounded with from birth. Yes indeed, our young formative years up until we're five years of age are so very important to our overall development. The experts tell us, that a person's whole personality and behavior patterns are basically formed by the time we're five years of age. Now the unfortunate thing to me is this. As the title of today's article puts it there are bad examples everywhere. Yes indeed, there are bad examples of behavior and conduct that is not conducive to living a good, healthy, successful and peace-filled life.
The media, including the so-called social media has a very powerful effect on everyone today, and in particular on the young, easily led people who are daily tuning into the most diabolical of decadent behavior being beamed into their homes from morning to night. Then there are the so-called games young people play on their X-box which are packed full of aggressive, blood-curdling behavior. Why even when one tunes into parliamentary channels that are available in most countries today, we observe our politicians, our so-called leaders behaving in a disgusting, unruly, unmannerly, belligerent manner day after day on our TV screens.
Why even when we tune into a church service on TV we observe ministers shouting and screaming in a really ridiculous manner as they try to inculcate their particular brand of religion into the minds of those who apparently are gullible enough to follow them. Yes indeed, there are bad examples everywhere of how not to behave.
So, how do we overcome the constant bombardment of how not to behave from our young people, our children when they're in their most important young, formative years? Well in a nutshell, parents and guardians need to very carefully monitor exactly what their children are watching on TV, their iPads, mobile devices, and also they need to be very careful whom they allow their young children to mix with.
From my personal observations, there are a whole lot of useless, delinquent parents who do not consistently monitor what their children are doing daily, and are not checking on whom they're mixing with at school and socially. Parents and guardians, you have a grave responsibility to bring up your children in the right manner, and to make sure that they do not engage in delinquent behavior.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com. Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Parents stand up for school in racism row

May 20, 2014

OUTRAGED parents yesterday defended Tambearly School and its administration against allegations of racism and prejudice towards students...

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Leadership Development Institute Gears Up for First Graduation
Leadership Development Institute Gears Up for First Graduation

May 19, 2014

150 Students Excited About A Future In Hospitality...

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Bahamas Union of Teachers Response To House Select Committe Interim Report
Bahamas Union of Teachers Response To House Select Committe Interim Report

May 15, 2014

As hundreds of Teachers wait for millions of dollars to be paid to them for correct salaries, back pay, confirmations and more, the Bahamas Union of Teachers is very concerned after the details of an interim report of the House Select Committee were revealed by Dr Bernard Nottage in Parliament today...

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Kingsway Academy student selected into honor society

May 14, 2014

Kingsway Academy graduating senior, Danya Dean, is ending her high school career on a high note -- acceptance into The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). The society recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership scholarship, and community commitment. NSHSS founder and chairman Claes Nobel, a senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes made the announcement.
"I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Danya has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence," said Nobel. "Danya is now a member of a unique community of scholars -- a community that represents our very best hope for the future."
"I was excited to be accepted," said Dean, 17. " I'm actually a part of my school's honors society [Alpha Kappa Tau] so it made me feel even better to be accepted into the National Society of High School Scholars because it's a global field and not just competing against my schoolmates."
NSHSS President James W. Lewis said the vision behind NSHSS is to build a dynamic international organization that connects members with meaningful content, resources and opportunities. "We aim to help students like Danya build on their academic successes and enhance the skills and desires to have a positive impact on the global community," he said.
Membership in NSHSS entitles qualified students to enjoy a variety of benefits, including scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, member-only resources, publications, participation in programs offered by educational partners, personalized recognition items and publicity honors.
Danya, a 3.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) student, has made the honor roll at Kingsway Academy for the six years she has been at the school, as she says getting an education is important to her.
"You have to have an education because you won't get anywhere in life without having some form of education, so it's important to get the education you need to move along in life," said the daughter of Dennis and Barbara Dean. She said in her house getting an education has always been stressed.
"Besides God, education was always second. Whenever I would come home from school my mom would always ask, 'Do you have any homework? Do you have any studying?' And I would be like 'no'. She would be like, 'you're going to study'. It was always important."
With aspirations of becoming a medical chemist with a background study in forensics, she knows she has a lot of studying ahead of her during her university years.
She has been accepted into Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada and Taylor University in Indiana, and is leaning towards continuing her post-secondary education at the Canadian college. Her final decision she said would lie in what scholarship monies she's able to get. She has applied to the Lyford Cay Foundation as well as the Ministry of Education for scholarship assistance. She's also applied for financial aid to the universities.
As for her choice of course of study, while she says the sciences, especially chemistry is her favorite, and that she was influenced in her future course of study by the fact that a number of her family members have been diagnosed with leukemia, breast cancer as well as lupus and diabetes.
"With medical chemistry it's a career path that I can go on to aid in research and find cures and test substances to find ways to help better the lives of those people who are suffering from these diseases. And forensic science, because I've always loved working in the lab and I see it as a way I can help the community and help the law to put away those who are criminals," she said. "I would love to be both honestly, but my real passion is actually working in the lab in research, so a medical chemist is what I would really like to be with a background study in forensics."
Ironically she is the first to admit that she is surprised herself that her least favorite subject is math, when the sciences and math usually go hand-in-hand.
"When I'm in math class I'm like I dread this subject. Why am I learning this? But in chemistry, biology and physics it just comes so much easier to me because I'm learning what I want to learn. But Math, eww!" she said.
As she prepares to wind up her final weeks in high school, she will retake her Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exams in math and English. Last year she had written eight exams, math, English, biology, chemistry, physics, Combined Science, food and nutrition and Spanish, and came out with one B and seven C grades. And she's scored in the 1400s on her Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
She is also mere days off sitting three Advanced Placement (AP) exams in math, English and chemistry.
Danya is also proud of the fact that she's a well-rounded individual who is also into a variety of extracurricular activities, even though education is at the forefront. She played volleyball, soccer and softball, and ran track. She did not like basketball. She's also involved in dance and performs in the Emanji Circus Arts.
"My study habits would shock people," said Danya. "I leave from school and go straight to dance practice, and if I'm not at dance or circus, I'm out on the field or on the court playing a sport. After all that I do homework and study and I get to that around 8-9 p.m." She said she tries to put in two hours doing homework before she puts in four hours studying. This means she gets to bed late, which she said she's accustomed to, as it's something she's been doing for many years.
But she said there is one thing that every student must remember, and that it's "prayer plus hard work equals success. It's very important to put God first in everything that you do. Without him, nothing is possible."

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