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St Catherine Prep student is top GSAT girl

BY LUKE DOUGLAS Observer senior reporter douglasl@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012    

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THE former head girl of St Catherine Preparatory School in Spanish Town has achieved all perfect scores in this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), making her the top girl in the annual examination.

Catherine Douse scored 100 per cent in all five subjects — Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Communication Task — principal of St Catherine Prep Yolande Geddes-Hall revealed yesterday.

The outstanding youngster, who will be awarded the Scotiabank top girl scholarship, will attend St Jago High School in September.

"I'm feeling very excited and thankful to God for this opportunity and the awards and financial aid that I got. I'm feeling very proud," Catherine told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Catherine's mother, Carole-Ann Douse, said her only child's success in the exam was influenced greatly by her Christian upbringing.

"I am elated but quietly so. It is more of an internal joy for me. I give God thanks because I know it is His design," she said.

"I always try to grow her in the fear of the Lord and tell her whatever she does she mustn't forget Him. I teach her how the Lord works powerfully in our lives. I think Cathy has been moulded in the way of the Lord from she was very young," she added.

Mrs Douse described her daughter as "very humble and deep-thinking", and mature beyond her years.

"Cathy is very focused; she socialises but she is more of a loner. She thinks for herself," the mother noted.

Among the decisions Catherine made for herself was to attend St Jago.

"When I was in grade five my mother said I should start thinking about which school I should put as my first choice, and that I should pray about it," Catherine said of her choice to attend the school in Spanish Town.

"After a long time in grade six God showed me that I should put St Jago as my first choice and I don't regret it."

"She made that decision," Catherine's mother confirmed. "I said I don't want you to make that choice because of me, that is your responsibility. Cathy said, 'mummy I want to go to St Jago'."

Mrs Douse admitted that family tradition played a part in the choice of school, as she along with eight of her nine siblings attended St Jago, as did several members of her husband's family.

In addition, Mrs Douse works as chief radiographer at the Spanish Town Hospital. Her husband Hugh is a well-known musician, teacher and founder of the Nexus Performing Arts Group.

Catherine, who plays netball and football, watches TV or reads in her spare time, says she would like to be a psychologist or a medical doctor.

Meanwhile, Geddes-Hall said students at St Catherine did very well in the GSAT this year, with 24 of 45 students averaging over 90 per cent and 44 being placed at traditional high schools.

She said another student, Dominique Richards, is also expected to secure a government scholarship as she had four scores of 100 per cent and one of 95 per cent. Richards will attend Campion College in September.

The Ministry of Education will release the list of government and private sector scholarship winners tomorrow, a ministry source disclosed.

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