ALHCS Festive Speech Night

By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:51 Updated


On the afternoon of Monday, December 18th, an appreciative crowd gathered in the courtyard of Campus B to witness the annual ALHCS Speech Night. Speech Night 2017 was set to take off against a mild chilly breeze which gently permeated the air under skies spotted with thick clouds of grey. But by the end of the event only a light drizzle had teased the delightful setting.
The proceedings began with a few bars of the “Phantom of the Opera” rendered by the school’s concert band, followed by a fervent prayer of invocation offered by Pastor Gareth Hodge. The National Anthem was then played by the school’s steel orchestra guided by Mr. Michael Martin, and the National Song was lustily played by the concert band under the direction of Mr. Lennox Vanterpool. Mrs. Marilyn Connor, a member of school’s faculty, then set the protocol by extending welcoming remarks to those dignitaries present and the audience in general. She then formally introduced the Master of Ceremonies, in the person of Inspector Crispin Gumbs.
Upon taking the podium and greeting the gathering, Mr. Gumbs began by quoting the legendary Nelson Mandela. He remarked: “It was Nelson Mandela who said that ‘the power of education extends beyond the development of the skills we need for economic success. It contributes to nation building and reconciliation.”
Mr. Gumbs continued by saying: “It is important that we recognize our young people for their academic achievements as they move through the school. I think it is fair to say, with all that has gone on post-Irma, that the school has bounced back so that we can host a Speech Night. So, it is befitting indeed to say, ‘Anguilla Strong, Speech Night 2017.”’ He then prompted the audience to recite that line with him in unison: Anguilla Strong, Speech Night 2017.
The MC continued: “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Principal and staff of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, to welcome you to the 2017 edition of Speech Night, an annual event which focuses on celebrating the achievements of the students who have performed consistently well over the last year. In addition, Speech Night also showcases the talents of members of the school’s various musical groups. It also provides an opportunity for the Principal of the school to present the school report for the past year.”

Following stirring musical renditions by the steel orchestra, the concert band, and the recorder ensemble, the Principal, Mrs. Joyce Stuart presented her Report for 2017. The following is an extract from that Report.
“It is with great pride that I stand before you to present this annual report. For some, the past school year was rough and stressful, while for others it was well paced and rewarding. Many of the challenges and celebrations of the past school year have been shared to some degree by all of us: teachers, students, parents, businesses and community alike. We have all been confronted on a daily basis with the current school life at ALHCS, so I doubt that there are any surprises in store for us tonight.
“During the period in review, the school was housed in five separate centers: Campus B, Campus A, the Pupils Referral Unit (PRU), the Workshop Initiative for Support and Education (WISE) and the newly opened branch, Developing Our Vision for Education (DOVE). The management of ALHCS includes the Principal, three Deputies, two Senior Teachers and the Coordinators of WISE and PRU. These all make up the senior management team. Our mid-management team is made up of 15 Heads of Department, 6 Heads of Year, and the Unit Coordinator of DOVE.
“The focus of the school’s program of study continues to be preparing students for life beyond secondary school, through the certification of the recognized external examination board, CXC. All the subjects offered at ALHCS did not have external examinations, and therefore some students did local exams in order to match their varying abilities and needs.”
The Principal continued, “In terms of our examinations, the results are as follows: for the Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CSLC) this past year 31% achieved “Mastery”, compared with 32% the year before; 85% overall achieved “Competence”, compared to 79% in the previous year. It is noteworthy that in the year in review, students participating in WISE performed incredibly well on the CSLC exams. There were six students who signed up for the exams for a total of 24 sittings, and there were 19 scores of “Competence” or “Mastery”. English had 66%; Social Studies had 83%; Integrated Science had 66%; and Mathematics had 100%.” (That news met with much cheers from the audience.)

The Principal went on: “So, I think it is time that the general public, and the business community in particular, acknowledge the tremendous effort that students put forth in order to obtain a rating of “Competence” or “Mastery” on the CSLC exams, and affirm the legitimacy of all students’ accomplishments. This would go a long way to promote student academic focus and encourage their drive for improved academic growth and performance.”
The Principal proceeded by reporting some more relevant data with regard to exams results. She said: “In terms of our CSEC examinations, 75% of the subject entries for general proficiency achieved grades 1 through 3. This is down slightly from the 80% last year. This year, though, we had 70 students passing five or more subjects, including Mathematics and English, compared to 49 last year. There were 109 students, or 62%, who achieved passes in four or more subjects, compared to 59% or 103 students in 2016.
“Overall, our school results compared favorably with those of other countries taking the CXC exams. Some of our students, again, were among the top ten candidates in the region. At the CAPE level, these include Aiden Hazzard who ranked 1st in Physical Education & Sports; and Arielle Gaskin who ranked 7th in Law, and 8th in English and Literature. At the CSEC level, in some subjects two of our students took places on the top ten: Kamal Vanterpool ranked 4th in Music, while Marley Ipinson-Fabian ranked 7th; Angeline Maxwell ranked 3rd in Family Resource Management, while Charika Gumbs ranked 9th; in Industrial Technology Building, Cadeion Richardson was 2nd, while Patrivan Harvey came 7th.” (Again, the audience lustily applauded these distinguished achievements.)

Following some other pertinent information shared by the Principal, the school’s mixed choir rendered a dynamic medley that gave rich expression to the spirit and joy of the Christmas season. Students’ awards were then distributed to highlight outstanding academic performance, outstanding athletic performance, outstanding performance in music, the environmental club, and awards of recognition in the 2017 Leeward Islands Debating Competition. Following the rendering of “Winter Wonderland”, by the group ALHCS Monday Mix, the Vote of Thanks was given by Miss Aja Hodge Kelsick.
The Anguillian takes this opportunity to congratulate the students and teachers of the ALHCS for their noteworthy achievements throughout the year in review, and extends best wishes for a peaceful, joyous Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.

By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:51 Updated


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