Elyssa Athill with the principal, the Reverend Dr Hensworth Jonas (Facebook photo)

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By Carlena Knight

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The Principal of Antigua Baptist Academy, Rev. Dr. Hensworth Jonas shared his joy at his school’s impressive performance in the 2022 Grade 6 National Assessment.

The Radio Range-based private school won 24 places out of the top 100 students in the country.

The results – which came out on Friday – also saw the school’s Elyssa Athill named the top student after amassing 387 out of a possible 400 points.

Divine Academy of Excellence’s Celine Rodriguez was second with 382, ​​and Grace Christian Academy’s Demari Barthley was third with 381.

Barthley is the best boy in this year’s exams.

Kezia Thomas of Old Road Primary was the top performer in state schools, and Marvin Indarjeet of Greenbay Primary was the top performing man.

While Baptist Academy amassed the highest number of top 100 passes, St John’s Lutheran had the second highest with eight while the top government school was Old Road Primary with five.

Speaking to Observer moments after the results were released, Jonas said he was blown away by his school’s achievements.

“I am overwhelmed and stunned by the school’s performance. Amid a global pandemic, when test scores in the region have plummeted, Baptist Academy has the most students in the top 100.

“Twenty-four of our students in a class of 30 are among the top 100 in the country,” he said.

“The best student is Elyssa Athill who had an incredible performance with 387 points out of 400. Every year our students do well. I have to give credit to the sixth grade teacher, Miss Nadine Smith, who has been the anchor of the program,” Jonas said.

“Elyssa Athill is extraordinary in every way,” he continued. “She is a confident, eloquent, hardworking and sensitive daughter who amazed us. Her mother Selma Belle was such a supportive parent throughout her tenure at Baptist Academy,” he added.

Belle was indeed over the moon when news broke that her daughter was the top student in Antigua and Barbuda.

She told the Observer that it’s been a long road but Elyssa has remained dedicated to the task at hand.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and pride. I understand that as a child it takes a certain degree of maturity to stick with it, and sometimes the work can feel a bit overwhelming, but I’m so glad I was able to be there for her, with the support of my family and friends, to see her up to this point,” Belle said.

She also thanked the school.

Elyssa was not immediately available for an interview but committed to having one shortly.

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