“When I first heard the news, I was shocked and excited!”

That was the reaction from Riana Toney, who emerged as the top student of this year’s Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) exams.

The 16-year-old, who hails from the small community of Queenstown in the Pomeroon-Supenaam Region 2, completed her Secondary School education at the Anna Regina Secondary School.The teenager gained 19 Grade Ones.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) about her journey towards such an achievement, Toney said she had always received high percentages in school but did not foresee being at the top of the country when she sat the examination. She had to buckle down and put aside a lot of regular activities to put in extra studies, she explained. Her School-Based Assessments (SBA) had to be completed on time, and her sleeping routine had to be rescheduled to accommodate late nights studies of past CSEC papers.news 20190815 8

Toney credited her support base – her parents for their care and encouragement throughout her journey. Her teachers also played a significant part in her achievement, she noted.

The acting Regional Education Officer (REdO) of Region 2 (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Nicola Matthews told DPI that the Regional Education Department is satisfied with the 2019 results received.

Mathews highlighted that the grades show the remarkable collaboration which was established between the Department of Education and the various schools within the region.

“It was only yesterday [Tuesday], I was finding out from the teacher which school would be number one… and the Head Teacher told me that we may not be on top because other schools did more subjects than we did. So, receiving the news this afternoon, I am speechless and very happy at the same time. Not only did we have the top student, the region came in third, and we also have seven places in the top 100,” the acting REdO exclaimed.

According to Matthews, the results have been consistent over the past years. She underscored that Anna Regina Secondary School along with the Abram Zuil Secondary School, have been the top learning facilities in the region. She reminded that in 2018 Anna Regina Secondary had produced a second-place student.

“We have decided to do something different in this region. We have now moved our subject committee to the schools themselves where the officer and teacher are more involved. It is not just the HODS [Head of Departments] but all levels of teachers,” Matthews noted.

She added that the region was gifted two Mathematics specialists who are working assiduously with the schools on daily. “So, I think those are some of the things which have contributed towards our success,” the acting REdO emphasised.

Making up the country’s top three students are Alex Abraham of St. Roses High School, who achieved 18 Grade Ones and 2 Grade Twos, and Charrandat Narine also of Anna Regina Secondary School, with 18 Grade Ones and 1 Grade Two.