St Jago basks in SCQ victory

St Jago basks in SCQ victory

Career & Education writer

Sunday, April 21, 2019

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St Jago High School has had much to celebrate this year, not least of which is its win of the 2019 TVJ Schools' Challenge Quiz at the start of the month.

The win, it's fifth hold on the championship trophy, was also special for the competition, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Having resoundingly outscored ace rival Kingston College by a 20-point margin of 39 – 19, St Jago team not only brought a well-deserved incentive to fellow students, teachers, parents and all who associated with the management of the school, but an intense euphoria and pride to neighbouring communities of Rivoli Avenue, Waterloo Close and the wider Spanish Town.

“It's a tremendous victory,” quiz coach Romeo Lee told the Jamaica Observer. “What made it so special is that it came in the 275th anniversary of the school. Before the season started I realised that the team was shaping up to be the champion. The immediate aim is to focus on the external exams, they (team members) have already been (provisionally) accepted to UWI and we are very grateful for the scholarships that have been awarded to us.”

Lee was part of the St Jago team that won Schools' Challenege Quiz in 2008. He has been coaching the team for the past two years.

Team captain Chanarie Lindsay told Career & Education about the signififcance of the win from his perspective.

“For me, it means a lot to be the leader of a team that has won the 50th staging of TVJ's School Challenge Quiz competition. It's a tremendous feeling. In the final, I thought the most challenging part was the buzzer section; we had to control our nerves and maintain maximum focus for four minutes.”

Team member Abigail Barnes had this to say about the camaraderie she enjoyed with the other players on her team: “I was trained in areas of Jamaican heritage, theatre and movies and it was quite easy settling in with the others as I was already familiar with them.”

The other players were Joel Henriques, who represented his school for the second consecutive year, and Leroy Casanova.

Henriques, who trained in the arts, described the challenge as “gettable” target.

Principal Collette Feurtado-Pryce, herself a past student of St Jago, spoke about the high expectation she had of winning.

“We had no doubt. We were prepared to win and we were ready to win!” she gushed.

She went on to explain: “There were a number of things. We had three team members who were in the final last year against Champion, both coaches belonged to the St Jago family of past students; Mark Clarke and Romeo Lee — a member of the 2008 winning team. Another factor is that we have worked a lot in the school generally to build confidence in our students and loyalty, which was evident on our journey throughout the competition, and generally the preparation this time around. This time was easier because we have been through the process before.”

But while basking in the glory of her school's triumph, the headmistress took the opportunity to highlight some concerns she has and challenges that the school faces including the need for infrastructure upgrading. It is her view that St Jago is not benefitting appropriately from its track record of achievements across multiple disciplines.

“Our school is somewhat underrated [but] over the years we have performed exceptionally well. We are consistently in the top five of girls and boys champs and we also do well in the performing arts,” she said, adding that the school is scheduled to showcase its talents in an event later this month.

Javaughn Gordon reigning Junior Mayor of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation and deputy head boy of St Jago, told Career & Education, “I am extremely happy [for the school's victory] especially in this anniversary year. It is a gift, it is a unifying factor for the school, the Rivoli Avenue Community and Spanish Town. It's a great joy!”

The Mayor of Spanish Town Norman Scott also had words of congratulations.

“As you celebrate your 275th anniversary, this victory is certainly the icing on the cake and will go down in history as one of the most outstanding moments for the St Jago High School family,” he said.

“This remarkable institution is indeed a beacon in the parish of St Catherine and has held true to its motto – 'Labor Omnia Vincit – Labour Conquers All'. I wish you all the best as you celebrate a well-deserved victory,” said Scott.

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