Education

Sandals Royal Bahamian Hosts Table Etiquette Training for D. W. Davis Students

June 12, 2014

On Wednesday afternoon, students of D.W. Davis Jr. High School expanded their knowledge beyond the classroom by participating in Sandals’ table etiquette training...

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Lyford Cay graduates encouraged to learn from failures

June 11, 2014

Lyford Cay International School's (LCIS) graduates were told to learn from their life's failures as they finished up their high school years.
The small graduating class of 10 heard from fellow LCIS alumni, Barbara Ann Bernard, who told them that to her, failure is when she has fallen short of her own expectations for herself.
"Failure is personal," said Bernard. "It's when I deem that I have fallen short of my own expectations for myself. It's when we feel that we have let ourselves down. And as long as we can make failure our teacher, and not our undertaker, we're making progress."
Bernard, the 2012 Ironman XC Executive Challenge Women's Athlete of the Year, along with her cousin Win Charles, who was born with cerebral palsy and severe scoliosis, teamed up to compete in triathlons, under the name Team weWin. Their goal is to set a world record as the first female team to cross an Ironman finish line, and in the process, help raise funds and awareness for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
The Kona Ironman is recognized as one of the toughest physical challenges in the world. Bernard aspired to swim the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim pulling Charles in an inflatable boat, bike 112 miles around Oahu, Hawaii, with Charles in a recumbent bike attached to hers and then run the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon pushing Charles in a wheelchair, all in a single continuous event. The Kona Inspired program provides race entry for teams with inspirational stories, selected by a public vote.
"I failed spectacularly with 40,000 votes and NBC filming from a hovering helicopters, Team weWin fell short of a record at the World Championship of the sport, and it's still okay," said Bernard. "In fact, it was a really fun journey, and I'm here tonight to tell the story. Failure isn't fatal. It also isn't final."
Bernard and Charles will again be racing for that record on September 22.
Even though Team weWin had failed in their Ironman quest in Hawaii, they had already proven they had what it took to compete in professional triathlons. In April 2013 they competed in the St. Anthony's Triathlon in Florida, in less than four hours. They were the first two women, one of whom is disabled, to attempt and finish the race.
LCIS principal, Stacey Bobo in her address to the graduates at the ceremony held at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel told them that the diplomas they received should not be thought of as a reward, but rather, a commitment to continue the life-long process of learning.
"The habits of mind that you have learned at Lyford Cay International School should now be forged into that special compound we call excellence," said Bobo. And she told them that excellence is the antidote to apathy and idleness and forms the basis of ethical behavior.
"It is key to living a rich and meaningful life, to achieving self-actualization," said the principal.
Davina Adderley, who served as head girl and head of student council was named the valedictorian. She will further her education at the University of Richmond, having earned a full scholarship valued at over $250,000.
Edouard Candiotti, who was named the salutatorian will further his education at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland where he will study International Affairs.
LCIS also recognized members of the graduating class who attended LCIS for all of their academic lives, and are known affectionately as "Lyford Lyfers". This year's class "Lyfer" was LeeAnn Azzara. She was recognized for her 14 years at LCIS.
Previous "Lyford Lyfers" included, Gerrick Farquharson, Class of 2013; Francesca Curry, Daniel Jennings, Marisa Maura, Class of 2012; Samuel Jennings, Class of 2011; Alexis Roberts, Class of 2010; Jordan Kemp, Fritz Stubbs, Natascha Vazquez, Class of 2008 and Eduardo Vazquez, Class of 2006.
Lyford Cay International School's Class of 2014:
LCIS Valedictorian 2014, Davina Adderley: Davina has been a student at LCIS since August 2011. She has served as head girl and head of student council. She has earned the Governor General Youth Award (GGYA) Silver Medal, been a delegate for the Bahamian, Boston and McGill Model UN, and was head delegate and student leader for the Speech and Debate Club.
Davina has been a student coordinator and member of the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program for three years, as well as group leader for the Elementary Lunchtime Helper's program. She played on the LCIS Dragons Volleyball Team for three years, was a historian and a member of the Interact Club, participated as a dancer and clarinet player for the LCIS Junkanoo Group and was a leader of the LCIS Sizzler's Step Team.
She will be studying Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Richmond having earned a full scholarship valued at over $250,000.
LCIS Salutatorian 2014, Edouard Candiotti: Edouard has been attending LCIS since August 2010. He has been an active member of the LCIS Dragons Football Team, the Rugby Team and has participated in international sports, the Interact Club, The Eco Club and The Investment Club. Edouard has served as head boy and student council member. While at LCIS he earned his GGYA Bronze Medal.
LeeAnn Azzara: LeeAnn is a Lyford Lyfer. She has spent her entire academic life at LCIS. She entered nursery in 2000. LeeAnn has been the secretary and a member of the student council. She played football with the LCIS Dragons for four years and was a member of the Investment Club, the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program and a Student Coordinator. LeeAnn is headed to Florida State University to study Civil Engineering.
Donique Adderley: Donique entered 10th grade at LCIS in 2011. She has served as a group leader and member of the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program, the Elementary Lunchtime Helpers, the Junkanoo Club Cowbell Division, and the Sizzlers Step Club. Donique has been a member of the International Sports Club, the International Dance Club, the Interact Club, and the Basketball Co-Curricular. She was also a student helper with the ELC Art Club. Donique will be studying Health Science at Pace University.
Charlotte Frey: Charlotte has been attending LCIS since 2004 when she entered in third grade. She was a member of the LCIS Dragons Football Team for three years and participated in the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program for two years. Charlotte was an Interact Club member and has earned her GGYA Bronze Medal. She will continue her education at Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Erika Kleijn: Erika has been attending LCIS since second grade. She is a long-serving member of the LCIS Dragons Swim Team and played Volleyball and participated in the Fitness Club. She was a member of the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program and the Interact Club. Erika has earned her GGYA Bronze Medal. She will be studying art history and business at Amsterdam University College.
Kasia McCartney: Kasia joined LCIS in eighth grade and has been a member of the Interact Club and the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program. She was a member of the LCIS Dragons Football team and assisted as a LCIS soccer coach. Kasia was a Model United Nations delegate and student council member, as well as an active member of the volleyball and rowing teams. She will work towards achieving her Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie University, Canada
Sasha Pyfrom: Sasha came to LCIS in kindergarten. She has served as an 11th grade class representative, Interact Club member and a member of the Stephen Dillet Enrichment Program. Sasha played on the LCIS Dragons Football Team and participated as a free dancer in Jr. Junkanoo. In 2012, Sasha was awarded the High School Art Award. Sasha will be studying Business Marketing Management at Oxford Brookes in the United Kingdom.
Pierre Knowles: Pierre entered LCIS mid way through his ninth grade year. He has been a member of the Interact Club, the Drama Club, and the Yearbook Club and has earned the GGYA Bronze Medal. Pierre has participated as a football coach, a member of the LCIS Dragons Football, Rugby and Basketball Teams. He has been involved with strength and conditioning, kayaking, international sports, and ultimate frisbee. He was also responsible for crafting costumes for Jr. Junkanoo. Pierre will be attending the University of Westminster where he will study business entrepreneurship.
Emma Hall: Emma began LCIS in eighth grade. She has been a member of the student council and the Interact Club. She was Clifton House Captain for two years and captain of the under-14 Dragons Football and the under-17 Bears Football teams. She represented The Bahamas as a member of The Bahamas national under-14 football team. Emma rushed with the LCIS Junkanoo Group, winners of the 2013 Jr. Junkanoo Competition. She placed second and was awarded the photogenic award and the social media excellence Award in the 2013 BTC Starmaker Competition. Emma will be attending Barry University of Miami Shores in the fall.

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Larouche Morley, Cataina Basden, Jernae Darville and Jorden Freemantle win poster competition

June 11, 2014

Larouche Morley, Cataina Basden, Jernae Darville and Jorden Freemantle emerged as the winners of the Ride To Save The Wetlands program - the Sandals Foundation's first Save The Wetlands poster competition.
Ride To Save The Wetlands was funded by the Sandals Foundation and has seen close to 5,000 children visit Bonefish Pond National Park over a two-year period. The visits are geared toward getting the kids to experience and learn about the mangrove ecosystem first-hand to get an understanding of what the wetlands are, along with the importance of The Bahamas' mangroves and why they need to be protected.
Participants have prepared and entered posters about what they learned into the wetland protection competition. Many of the posters in the competition portrayed the difference between a healthy mangrove area and a polluted mangrove area, and illustrated the destruction the fragile areas could undergo if not taken care of.
Morley, a student at St. Cecilia's Primary School, emerged the winner in the grades one and two category; Cataina Basden of St. Thomas More was the winner in the third grade category. Xavier's Lower School's Jernae Darville took home the prize for the grades four and five category. Jorden Freemantle took home the grade six category win. Each winner took home a $400 gift certificate to Buy the Book bookstore.
"These kids communicated beautifully in their posters the reasons we need to respect these ecosystems," said Chester Robards, Sandals Foundation spokesperson. "Some of these posters were so beautifully done, they could be used in a national campaign. Many of the posters took on a simple, but important message."
For the past two years the Sandals Foundation and Experiential Education, through Ride to Save the Wetlands, has made it possible for children in primary and secondary schools to learn about the importance of the wetlands to the environment.
"We are grateful to the foundation for providing assistance so that this program remains at an affordable price for the participants," said Aretha Rolle, a spokesperson for Experiential Education. "Experiential Education is also indebted to the Young Marine Explorers, a group of young budding marine biologists under the leadership of Nikita Sheil-Rolle, for leading the exploration into the wetlands of Bonefish Pond. And finally, we thank the government of The Bahamas for empowering The Bahamas National Trust to develop programs that protect wetland areas."
Judging the competition were Olivia Saunders, lecturer at The College of The Bahamas; Pamela Chandler, senior education officer of arts and designs at the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology and Louise Barry, senior education officer of high school science at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Grades 1 & 2 category
First place: Larouche Morley
St. Cecilia's Primary School
$400 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Second place: Caleb Ferguson
Xavier's Lower School
$200 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Grade 3 category
First place: Cataina Basden
St. Thomas More School
$400 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Second place: Darion Smith
St. Thomas More School
$200 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Third place: Tyrese Higgs
St. Thomas More School
$100 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Grades 4 & 5 category
First place: Jernae Darville
Xavier's Lower School
$400 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Second place: Jania J. Key
St. Thomas More
$200 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Third place: Terrance Knowles
St. Cecilia's School
$100 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Grade 6 category
First place: Jorden Freemantle
Xavier's Lower School
$400 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Second place:
combined group
Ashanti Miller
Najah Martin
Drexel Curry
Juvado Hilaire
Lamar Thompson
Gerald Cash Primary School
$200 gift certificate at Buy the Book
Third place: Keilan McSweeny
Sts. Francis and Joseph School
$100 gift certificate at Buy the Book

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Lucaya International School graduates 14

June 11, 2014

Lucaya International School's (LIS) Michaela Ince will be attending Pomona College with the knowledge that her undergraduate degree studies will be paid for in full as the winner of the Grand Bahama Port Authority's (GBPA) top achiever award. As the winner, she was granted a full four-year scholarship for the college of her choice.
Ince, who was also the valedictorian of the class of 2014, said her years at LIS made her a well-rounded, open-minded individual who is not afraid to face challenges head on. She believes that high school not only taught her academically, but it also taught her valuable life lessons.
She told her fellow International Baccalaureate program graduates that, no matter how challenging something may seem, there is no point in getting intimidated.
"As we prepare to walk out of this graduation ceremony and walk into the 'real world', each of us following our own paths, I would like to remind us all that, while we may never be in a class together again, we will always be our class - the Lucaya International School class of 2014," she said.
Keana Pakosh was named salutatorian.
Fourteen of the graduates were accepted into university with one opting for a gap year. They include: Alliqueka Capron, University of Nottingham, U.K.; Rhumer Culmer, University of Tampa, Fla.; Keana Pakosh, University of Toronto, Canada; Alexander Thompson, Texas A&M Galveston, Texas; George McInnes, gap year; Alexander von Albedyhll, University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Imani Sterling, University of Westminster, U.K.; Eric Grigorof, OCAD (the Ontario College of Art and Design), Canada; Cassandra Haddad, University of South Florida, Fla.; Asiyah Robinson, Gulf Coast University or University of Victoria; Katie Hindley, Newcastle University, U.K.; Ince, Pomona. College, Calif.; Andrew Hindley, Liverpool John Moore's University, U.K. and Rania Williams, Michigan Technological University, Mich.
Sharon Wilson, LIS headmistress, said that for administrators at schools, universities and colleges around the world, the IB is more than a curriculum and a testing service, but a powerful experience in learning and growth; it is a way of life and shared experience that develops character and bonds students and teachers together in friendship and attitudes that will last lifetimes.

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Advancing trends in technology

June 11, 2014

The Bahamas government has teamed up with Microsoft in a partnership agreement to advance trends in technology that will result in changes in the way students and teachers work, learn and live. Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald said the Microsoft Partners in Learning Education Transformation Agreement was a significant milestone in the development of education, in that it would allow the ministry to forge ahead with its goal of ensuring that teachers and students in The Bahamas are immersed in technology-enriched learning environments.
"[The agreement will ensure that] teachers are equipped to effectively integrate technology into teaching and learning, thus fostering innovation and ingenuity in our students," said Fitzgerald.
Benefits of the partnership included assisting the education ministry to increase digital inclusion of all students and schools in The Bahamas; provide technical assistance to refine the ministry's strategy that guides information and communication technology (ICT) initiatives; create a Microsoft 365 platform that is free to education and extends teaching and learning within and beyond the classroom.
Other benefits, he said, would include the provision of an email platform for all teachers and students in the public education system to have access to an education email address that they could have for their lifetime. The Microsoft Innovative Educator Programme will ensure that educators have 21st Century ICT skills; and will allow 1,500 teachers and 22,000 students to have the ability to download Microsoft Suite programs on up to five devices.
Fitzgerald said the government took the mandate to create an educational system that is technologically sound and competitive.
"Our commitment is demonstrated by the nearly $5 million in ICT initiative undertaken by my ministry since 2012. It is by far the largest and most successful technology initiative undertaken to date by the Government of The Bahamas under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) IDB INSPIRE Project Management Unit," he said.
According to Fitzgerald, since 2012 the government has invested in educational technologies in 76 primary and secondary public schools and in upgrading all school computer labs in the 14 districts throughout The Bahamas. He said that national libraries had been upgraded with computers and educational technologies and support had also been given to the Learning Resources Section, the Curriculum Section, resource centers in the Family Islands and programs including PACE and the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys.
The education technologies included desktop computers, laptops, interactive white boards, multimedia projectors, multimedia printers, document cameras, equipment to facilitate distance education and other technologies. Fitzgerald said the government had invested in assistive technology to facilitate learning for students with special needs and continued to upgrade the ICT infrastructure in schools. "We have implemented a very aggressive and diverse professional development framework to ensure that teachers are able to teach effectively in an increasingly ICT-enriched environment. To date, nearly 2,000 teachers have been trained in a multiplicity of ICT skills," he said. The investment of nearly $5 million on ICT was guided by the ICT in Education Strategy (e-Strategy) that was crafted after wide sector consultation and had the embedded vision, "To make accessible to the students of The Bahamas the technology required to make them globally competitive".
The education minister said that the ultimate aim was to create an e-culture in education that strengthened the system, and equipped the youth for the world of work and result in an improved Bahamas.
Minister Fitzgerald also congratulated Sharell Armaly-Edwards, an art and design teacher and subject coordinator at A.F. Adderley Junior School, who submitted a winning entry in the 10th Annual Microsoft in Education Global Forum and won an all-expense paid trip to Barcelona, Spain in March of this year. The forum recognizes the world's most innovative school leaders and educators who effectively use ICT in the classroom to transform education for the 21st Century. Armaly-Edwards submitted a lesson showing her students' versatility with using the Internet and the interactive white board for research, and to design their course work for the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) Exams. The Bahamas joined Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Haiti in the agreement with Microsoft.

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Are you focused

June 11, 2014

Now some people may in fact scratch their head when they first read today's title "Are you focused?" saying to themselves, Am I focused, or what D. Paul, what exactly do you mean? Well what I mean is this. Firstly, I presume that you my friend wish to have a successful life. Well, that being the case, number one I'm sure you've already established a series of goals and objectives, both short and long term, for all areas of your life together with detailed plans for their achievement. If per chance you have not yet gone through this vitally important exercise of setting up your goals for the future, I suggest that you stop what you're doing and get that most important exercise completed without further delay.
Now, once you have this plan for your future established, you need of necessity to stay focused on your goals. You see, there are always so many distractions that tend to take our attention and efforts away from what we know we should be doing in order to make our dreams, our goals reality in our life. But the true winners in life do not allow distractions to get in the way of the ultimate objective of their goals.
Yes my friend, in life there always will be all sorts of distractions to take us in the wrong direction. So, we need to be at all times on our guard so to speak against allowing those distractions to keep us away from the actual achievement of our goals and objectives.
Most people are very much into sports today and will thus be fully aware, that all the good athletes are those who are fully focused 24/7 on their objectives, and this applies to all successful athletes, no matter what their particular sport may be. Yes my friend, there's absolutely no doubt about it whatsoever, if you really want to ultimately achieve all of your cherished goals and objectives, you simply must remain focused at all times, and of course that requires great, both mental and physical discipline. Yes indeed, without constant self-discipline, no one can consistently succeed at anything. So, always remain focused for it really is the way to succeed!
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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Primary School Kids Prepare Posters for Wetland Protection Competition
Primary School Kids Prepare Posters for Wetland Protection Competition

June 10, 2014

Posters worthy of a national campaign, which were produced by primary school children, were all winners of the Sandals Foundation’s first ever “Save the Wetlands” poster competition...

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June 05, 2014

Nelissa Thomas of Queen’s College, Britney Gibson of Aquinas College and Jodi Ritchie of Queen’s College were the respective winners in the senior, junior and primary divisions of the Templeton World Charity Foundation and Ministry of Education, Science & Technology’s Laws of Life essay competition...

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A young lady who strives to always do her best

June 04, 2014

There's an adage that goes "like mother, like daughter", and in the case of Stacey Williams and her daughter Kayashia Williams, that saying is apt. Kayashia's mom has had a strong influence on her daughter's educational pursuits and long-term goals.
Kayashia, a 3.88 grade point average (GPA) student, who will commence her junior year at Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) in the fall, has found that both her love for numbers and growing up with her mother, a private banking loan administrator who has worked in the financial sector all of her professional life, have played a role in her decision to tackle a double major in accounting and finance.
"I have a love for dealing with numbers -- not necessarily mathematics, but numbers in general - and because my mom works in the financial field, I was attracted to it," said the 19-year-old.
Kayashia plans to obtain her doctorate degree and said her long-term plans include landing a position in the financial sector, working specifically in financial auditing or analysis with an accounting firm. She ultimately wants to open her own business.
Kayashia, the daughter of Stacey and Gerald Williams, is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society chapter at BCU. She was accepted into the honor program after her freshman year by virtue of finishing in the top 15 finish of her class, together with her known leadership ability and service.
As a part of the honors college, it was expected that she would set the standard for other BCU students, exemplifying excellence, integrity and high standards. As an added perk, Williams was able to move into the honors dormitory with like-minded academics.
To be accepted into the honors society, Kayashia had to maintain a GPA of 3.00. It was a goal she considered easy, so she set a personal objective of obtaining and maintaining a GPA of 3.4 or higher, in her quest to be accepted into the society.
She also wrapped up her second year with a perfect record - "A" grades in all subjects, including principles of accounting I; principles of accounting I lab; statistics I; leadership and professional development; ancient to late medieval humanities; applied business calculus and physical science.
The St. John's College graduate has made the honor roll since her primary school days; her academics have always been a priority and now that she's in college, she says they have become that much more important.
"In high school I did not take education as seriously as I do now. I took it seriously, but now that I'm in college, I know that I now have to study, whereas in the past it was like, 'let me cram the night before'. In high school I always just made the honor roll, hovering around 3.00, but I now strive to do better than that, aiming for the 3.4...3.8 mark," said Williams.
The honors student makes studying a priority. If she has an evening class, she uses her free time during the day to revise or studies during the night after her dance practice. Not your average college student who is always looking for a party, Williams knows when to give herself a break to "ease her mind".
Her mother's only child, Williams said it makes her happy to know that she is able to make her mother proud. She attributes it all to her mom.
"[My mother's] hard work has pushed me to not let obstacles keep me from pursuing my educational goals and striving to be my best," she said. "Getting an education means striving to do my best at all times and not depending on anyone to push me, but wanting to do my best to make others proud of my accomplishment."
A well-rounded teenager, Williams is no stranger to extracurricular activities.
She was in a number of clubs in high school, and the trend hasn't stopped since she got to college.
At home for the summer, the college student is hoping to secure a summer job in the financial sector, but she isn't putting all her eggs in one basket. Refusing to remain idle, Williams has signed up for a summer class at The College of The Bahamas, where she will study business law.
"Seeing as I'm doing a double major, and I don't want to graduate a semester behind, I decided to take the summer course at COB because I want to be right on time with my May 2016 undergrad degrees," she said.
As she strives to continue to excel, Williams encourages her peers to do the same, despite the obstacles they may face. She believes excelling means prioritizing.

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Teacher says the move toward consistent use of technology in the classroom is a move in the right direction

June 04, 2014

With the proliferation of technical device distribution over the past decade, the efforts of contemporary educators to incorporate technology into the classroom should come as no surprise to those who are reasonably minded, but Nancy Seymour, a teacher at Eight Mile Rock High School in Grand Bahama is still questioning whether technology has been properly blended into the classroom.
The computer studies teacher and business subject coordinator said while there is no shortage of dissertations, transcribed discussions, articles or expositions attempting to prove the benefits or disadvantages of technology in the classroom, and while the utilization of technology in daily learning is indeed on the rise, educators still face challenges in blending core, general and vocational lessons with technology.
"The predominant complication, as discussed by many of us who are educators in The Bahamas, is the lack of equipment to effectively support the effort of technology integration" she said.
Despite widespread belief that high-tech integration in schools is only attainable for the middle and upper-class sectors, the Grand Bahama teacher believes that understanding the importance of using technology in everyday lessons is a necessity in the lower-income sectors of society.
"Computers are used to improve teaching quality where quality is very expensive to reproduce or to substitute for the lack of teachers or schooling opportunities that cannot be made available with conventional teaching methodologies" (Dr. Nkasiobi Silas Oguzor, 2011, abstract).
"In other words, especially in the rural areas of our country, we should endeavor to consistently increase and upgrade computers and other technological instruments for maximum results," said Seymour.
According to the educator, the rapid evolution in the world of technology means that many alternatives -- some unconventional -- are being introduced to combat the challenges that are experienced during the process of integration. She believes that some of the alternatives should be considered.
According to some educational partnerships, since personal digital assistants (PDA) came on the scene, the difficulties that are usually experienced with technology integration have diminished tremendously. Those sources have observed positive results from the use of student-owned PDAs as teaching and learning tools.
"Regardless of the challenges or the methods used in correcting them, the move toward consistent use of technology in the classroom is a move in the right direction -- not only for integration, but as an autonomous subject area as well."
Seymour believes the worldwide paradigm shift in education vigorously supports a more interactive classroom.
"While traditional strategies and models should not be entirely abandoned by us in this region of the world, we must continue to make efforts in synchronizing our educational system with global trends. An interactive classroom does not always mean a technology-filled classroom, but when aptly applied, a technology-filled classroom is nothing short of an interactive classroom. Since educational underpinnings are being redirected toward more interaction in the classroom, and since the use of technology yields interaction, one of our aims of education, as a country, should be to promote the development of technological skills in school-age children," she said.
According to Seymour some people would argue that such an aim is in place and is declared in curriculum goals and other statements, but there aren't any national measurement tools to support such an aim.
In most junior schools, students have the option to choose computer studies as an elective course, but there is not a Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examination to determine a success rate in the field.
In senior schools most students also have the option to select computer studies as an elective, but apart from the keyboarding/typewriting exam, there is not a Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exam to determine a success rate at that level either.
In a technological era when a three-year-old playing a game of Leap Frog, a 16-year-old listening to songs on his MP3 player and a parent making a Skype call into a business meeting with colleagues from around the world are all realistic scenarios, Seymour does not believe she is engaging in a blame game. However, after a period of introspection, as an educator, she began to question whether she was doing enough to ensure that the children who pass through her classes have the necessary tools to prepare them for the future.
"All of us, as citizens of this country, must realize that proof of proficiency in the core, general and vocational areas outside of technology alone is no longer adequate. If we are genuinely determined to move in sync with the paradigm shift in global education, we must establish contemporary national evaluation tools and methods that are comparable and competitive worldwide. Not only are we in need of even more promotion of integration in core, general and vocational disciplines, but also in teaching technology as an independent field of study," said Seymour.

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Trained teachers commissioned at COB ceremony

June 04, 2014

More than 100 School of Education graduands, members of the spring 2014 commencement class of The College of The Bahamas (COB), have pledged to promote equity in education and uphold its noble standards at the teachers' commissioning ceremony held recently in the foyer of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre.
Like other graduands before them, the aspiring teachers were charged to serve with integrity and infuse the classrooms and schools to which they will be assigned with their passion for excellence, integrity and discipline.
"Our nation will expect you to provide each and every student with the kind of classroom experience that will stimulate their intellect and their curiosity, ignite their passion for learning, inspire them to excel, as it is these types of citizens who will impact meaningfully the development of their communities and, indeed, the world," said Acting President of The College of The Bahamas Dr. Earla Carey-Baines.
Dr. Carey-Baines told the graduates that as soon-to-be alumni of the institution, they are expected to think critically and creatively.
"As alumni of the college we expect that you will conduct yourself always with honor and dignity and act in such a way that you become the yardstick by which future generations of COB students will measure themselves," she said.
The graduation event marked the fifth time that The College has held a special ceremony as part of its commencement activities specifically to induct its education graduands into the teaching profession.
Information Officer at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Nerissa Hamilton delivered the commissioning address. She told the graduands that, as teachers, they would be consistently challenged in leaving a legacy of effective leadership.
"This legacy of leadership that you are building upon stands on the premise that quality education is a national imperative; what we teach must be relevant, current and engaging. It must be applicable to our setting, yet transferrable to the global society," she said.
"What will your legacy be? For you, I envision a generation of leaders who will establish traditions and values that can be passed on to future generations without regret. I see a generation of leaders who have an intentional legacy and that is to leave The Bahamas and, yes, the world a better place for generations to come."
Eighty-seven persons completed degree, certificate and diploma programs at the college in spring 2014; 58 persons completed their academic programs in December 2013. Many of them will be placed with local public and private schools, while others will continue their academic careers.
Of the 145 graduands from the School of Education in the 2013-2014 academic year, males accounted for 13 percent.
Dean of Social and Educational Studies Dr. Ruth Sumner reminded the former students of the responsibilities they would assume and the expectation that they would perform as servant leaders.
"Teachers touch the lives of their students in the most profound ways, and I daresay the work that you will be called to do will affect us all in one way or another, for there is no greater time than the present that The Bahamas and, indeed, the world need to see service leadership demonstrated," she said.

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The social side of sustainability

June 04, 2014

Jade Pearce, an environmental science and sustainability major at George Mason University, knows that being social goes beyond hanging out with classmates or socializing online. Through her studies, the three-time recipient of the Ethan S. Bain Environmental Health Foundation Scholarship looks at how factors in the natural environment, including pollution, waste management and food shortage, directly impact communities.
"I've always been interested in environmental issues and concerns. I had exposure to that in high school through outreach clubs and volunteering, but I wanted to expand on that and make it my career focus," said Pearce.
Last summer, during an internship in Brazil, she worked with a non-profit group assisting lower income recycle "pickers" in their fight for proper compensation. While the local Brazilian workers contribute to the country's sustainability, they are often underpaid or not paid at all.
"My major sustainability role in Brazil was to connect with the recycling collectors and to understand their story and document the social and economic issues they faced in terms of not being recognized as a professional group in their line of work."
This summer, the former Queen's College student is assisting her campus' dining hall with the distribution of surplus food to the surrounding community in Fairfax, Virginia.
"The level of community building and engaging ties into the sustainability perspective because it's creating a cyclical system for the food that's produced, consumed and then redistributed within the local sector."
Pearce hopes to engage in the same level of environmental social activism locally. Ten years from now, she sees herself playing a major role in the social push to change local consciousness as it relates to environmental sustainability, citing issues like the recurring fires at the city dump as a classic example of how environmental factors become social issues.
"I want to inspire Bahamians to rethink the approach to sustainability. There is a need for strong community building around sustainability issues where neighbors within a particular community get together and organize to affect change at a faster rate."
The college junior is continuing the dream of Ethan S. Bain, an environmentalist who was committed to sustainability and creating awareness on the local level. The foundation was started 10 years ago to honor his memory and to provide support to local organizations, students and professionals in the environmental field.
To date, the executive board of the foundation has awarded Pearce more than $5,000 in scholarship money. Beyond the obvious financial donations from the foundation, it's the support from the executive team that Pearce truly appreciates.
"In terms of what I value most, it would be the moral support of knowing that your fellow citizens back the dream of a brighter and more connected Bahamas."
Those sentiments sum up the exact dream of the man whose legacy Pearce carries on today through her education and scholarship opportunity. For more information on how you can contribute, visit the foundation's website at www.ebainenviro.org or find it on Facebook.

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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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