Another Debe student Joshua Mohan from Naparima College has copped the President's Medal (Silver).
This follows the achievement of Debe's Golden Girl, Cassandra Khan, 17 of Naparima Girls High School who won President's Medal Gold.
The Debe pupils who attended Cedar Grove Private School and Canaan Presbyterian Primary School in the Penal/Debe electoral region, live less than two miles apart.
In an interview, Mohan, 17, said he was shocked that he won the President's Medal as it was not something he expected. Having attained straight As in 10 subject areas, Mohan said he was in disbelief when his principal Dr Michael Dowlath gave him the news on Wednesday morning.
Mohan said time management was extremely important in excelling academically. However, he said having great friends and family support was crucial in his success.
"My parents Marlene and Rajesh Mohan were very supportive. My mother used to drop me for extra lessons. I want to thank my principal POA teacher Joanne Gosine and my private Spanish teacher Mrs Sherry Toolsie who really helped me a lot," Mohan said.
Having been born in Canada, Mohan said he spent his toddler years with his grandparents. He said while attending Cedar Grove he accomplished several awards in reading, art and football.
Praising his Grade Five teacher, Zita Baptiste for grooming him for SEA, Mohan said he was thrilled when he entered Naparima College.
He joined the Scouts Movement as well as participated in swimming and guitar. Mohan said he wrote Information Technology, Mathematics, Additional Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, P.O.A. English A, English Literature and Spanish. Crediting his success to his family and his faith in Lord Jesus Christ, Mohan said he intends to pursue medicine so he can help people.
Mohan's mother Marlene said Joshua was a very determined student and in Form Three he made a total turnaround in his academic life.
"I remember when he made that complete turnaround. It was in Form Three and he suddenly became focused and prioritized. I saw him organize his room and set everything in order. He started to change his eating habits. He cut off all junk food, no soft drink and no fatty foods. He started to exercise. He created a routine where he would talk to his friends after school, then do his exercise and then buckle down with his studies. He worked out a timetable and stuck to it. He became more consistent and determined. He would forfeit family gatherings to study," Marlene recalled.
Father Rajesh Mohan said he felt proud of his son's accomplishments.
Meanwhile, Principal Dowlath said Mohan was one of three pupils who excelled in the CSEC exams.
"We got three pupils in the top ten. Apart from Joshua Mohan, Dylan Ali placed 4th and Bryan Gangeesingh placed ninth. It was the first time we had three boys in the top ten. The boys have done well," Dowlat added.
He praised the parents of the students saying family support was extremely important to success.
Chairman of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation Dr Allen Sammy yesterday praised both Mohan and Khan for their outstanding success. He said both students will be honoured at the Corporation's Civic Awards ceremony to be held next year.
- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Ivan Toolsie.