Principal’s Graduation Report – June 26, 2016

“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

   (Henry Ford-American industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company). 

As a School Family, we came together at the start of the academic year, and kept together until the end.  This evening we celebrate the successes of our work together.  The academic year 2015/2016 began in earnest, as were highly motivated by the outstanding performance of our students in the 2015 CSEC and CAPE Level Examinations.  Among the cohort were some outstanding performances: our top performers in the CSEC Examinations were:

  • Chevelle Case who received 10 Distinctions and placed 10th in the Caribbean in Religious Education. 
  • Chardonnay Lewin – who received 9 Distinctions and 1 Credit and placed1st in the Caribbean for Economics & 6th in Office Administration
  • Our Top performer in the CAPE Examinations was Lisa Hall-who achieved 5 Subjects with distinctions and credits.

The School’s Administration was therefore most delighted to award the Business Department for having received the best CXC results for 2015. Our enthusiasm was boundless, and our gratitude to God insurmountable.  We therefore began our School Year by once again dedicating our campus, and the entire Holy Childhood High School Family to God.  Thus we had the blessing of our school and the first Mass for the year. We thank our priests and deacons who assisted with these and other Mass days: Fathers Colin Henriques, Rohan Tulloch, S.J; Walter Dorsey, Raphael Assamah, and Deacons Basil Rhoomsand Arthur Taylor.   With confidence, we began our mission with the theme: “Optimize the Brand…It’s Totally You!”

As the year progressed, Optimize the Brand we certainly did, for as Aristotle said: “Excellence is not an act, it is a habit.”   Our Quiz Team emerged as the Double Defending Champions of the Jamaica Civil Servants Secondary Schools Quiz Competition.

The Association of Science Teachers Quiz Competition held in April saw our Grade 8 Team emerging as Parish Champions.  They went on to place 3rd in the Regional finals. 

Fifteen students from Grades 9, 10 and 11 participated in the Jamaica Mathematics Olympiad and advanced to the semi-final round.  We congratulate them for their efforts and wish them more success next year.

Our Grade 8 Quiz Competition held earlier in June saw 8-3 emerging as the Champions with 8-4 as the Runners-Up. We celebrated the achievements of our students with our Prize Giving Ceremony in November, the Grade 11 & Sixth Form School Leaving Ceremonies in April, and the Grade 7 & 8 Awards Ceremonies in June.

We thank our Grade Supervisors, Form Teachers, and other teachers who planned and coordinated these events with great success.

SPORTS:

The great boxing icon, Muhammad Ali is known to have said: “I hated every moment of training but I said, “Don’t quit.  Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Our athletes made us very proud.  They were real champions!

  1. Our Track and Field Team participated at several Developmental Meets in February to prepare for the Boys and Girls Athletic Championships. At those Meets we achieved pockets of excellence and our athletes got valuable exposure:
  • Shamika Burton          Gold Medalist in the 100m (Class 2) sprints at the Camperdown Classic
  • Abigail Blake              Gold Medalist in the 70m Hurdles (Class 4) at the Corporate Area Development Meet
  • Britney Richardson     Silver Medalist in the 80m Hurdles (class 3) at the Corporate Development Meet
  • Britney Chambers       Bronze Medalist in the 400m Hurdles (Open) at the Corporate Area Development Meet
  • Adrienne Adams         Bronze Medalist in the Discus (Class 2) at the King of the Ring Development Meet
  • At the ISSA Swim Championship held in November, our Swim Team placed 5th and then 6th in the Mayberry Swim Meet held in April.  The Team though small, performed very well, gaining both a Gold and Silver Medal.
  • In April, our Basketball Team placed 1st in GC Foster Rally , reclaimed the Championship title in the ISSA Basketball Competition, Southern Region, and went on to claim the overall title as All Island Champions!  We congratulate the Team’s Coach, Mr. Oneil Brown for coaching the Team to its eighth (8th) Championship title and for being named Coach of the Year 2015-2016. 

  • The Tennis Team played in the “Best of the Best Division 2 Championship in March.  They pulled off an exciting victory after 3 days of exciting and nail biting matches to win the title. 
  • Our Under 16 and 19 Netball Team emerged as Zone Champions in the ISSA Netball Competition.
  • Our Under 14 Netball Team placed 2nd in the Queens Netball Rally held in May.  They emerged as winners at the elimination and semi-final rounds, and eventually placed 4th in the National Finals.

In February, all our athletes were recognized and celebrated at our Sports Awards Ceremony. We congratulate Clairvoux (purple house) who again triumphed as the Champion House. We congratulate all our athletes and their coaches as we continue to work towards excellence in all areas: Mr. Oneil Brown, Mr. Llloyd  Allen, Mr. Delroy Johnson,  Mrs. Kareen Benjamin-Wright and Breanna Rowe of Grade 9.

As we plan to expand and improve our Sports Department, we anticipate the completion of our gymnasium this Summer, with access to more training equipment.

SPIRITUALITY:

Ever mindful of our dependence on God, our school maintained its hallmark for being spiritually focused.  Our students benefitted from our routine of daily prayers, and Mass every First Friday. The Catholic Club was actively involved in leading our Advent and Lenten Devotions.

Our Sixth Form students made their Retreat in December; In March, our students and teachers participated in a full week of Recollection while the Inter School’s Christian Fellowship in keeping with its mission to present Christ to young people, celebrated ISCF Week under the theme “Step into Your Season.” The Catholic Club also went on Retreat and participated in the Cluster Day celebrations at St. Catherine High School in April 2016. We thank all the teachers who coordinated their respective Club activities.  We also thank Mrs. Grace Brown and the Religious Education Department, along with all the other persons who assisted with our Retreat and Recollection Days.

We also wish to thank Sister Mary Elizabeth Thompson, FMS for her weekly Wednesday visits with our students to offer spiritual guidance.

As a Christian institution, we did well to observe the advice of the English poet and philosopher, G.K. Chesterton who wrote: “Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”

Our love affair with the poor and suffering saw our students making monetary contributions to charity every Tuesday.  All Grade 11 students gave 20 hours of voluntary service to their communities as one of the criteria for Graduation. Our Red Cross Society donated care packages to the family of Shaquilla Campbell whose 2 younger siblings perished in a fire in May.  The Society also sponsored the Graduation Fee for one of its members.

As a school Family, we also made monetary contribution towards the medical expenses of Kavone Brisset, the 11 year old sibling of one of our graduands, Octavia Smith.  Kavone is still in dire need of urgent medical attention overseas as a result of a disease of the pancreas.

Our Grade 11 responded generously to the challenge of identifying and supporting a community project before Graduation:

  • 11-1    Donated instructional material to the Mathematics Department
  • 11-2    Funded the purchase of a Notice Board for the Grade 11 Block
  • 11-5    Funded the purchase of bolts for the bathroom stalls in the students’ bathrooms 11-6         Funded the purchase of food items, clothing, bed linen and other items which they presented to Mr. Paul Wright, one of our security guards whose home was destroyed by fire in February
  • 11-7    Funded the Purchase of Bibles and other text which were presented to the Religious Education Department
  • The Mathematics Club also made its contribution of mathematical instruments and cash to the Mathematics Department. 
  • The Sixth Form Outreach Project in December saw our Sixth Form students spending the day at St. Anthony’s Children’s Home where they interacted with teen-aged mothers and presented them with gift items.
  • In February, the ISCF visited the Bethlehem Home for the Aged in Kingston where they prayed, and gave assistance with caring for the residents.  They also presented the Home with food and toiletries which were purchased through their fundraising activities. 

We laud the efforts of the students and their Teachers who encouraged them in these projects.

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

Our Guidance Department, charged with the great task of promoting emotional wellness rose to the occasion with a number of programmes:

  • In collaboration with our Medical Staff, Academic Staff, the PTA, the Bank of Nova Scotia Group, and the Nurses Association of Jamaica, our Guidance Department facilitated our annual Parents Month Activities which included a Parent Empowerment Workshop, Parenting Seminars which looked at Financial Wellness, Nutrition in Promoting Children Wellness, Personal Hygene, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Wellness. 
  • The Department also coordinated our Career Week activities which were pre-empted from as early as August 2015 during our Orientation Week.  At that time, students were introduced to career goal setting, study skills, employability skills and preparation for tertiary education. 
  • During Career Week which was held in November, there were field trips to the Canadian University Educational Sessions, 6 Government Ministries, and the Caribbean Regional Education Fair. 
  • In addition there were Career Guidance lessons which included Career Awareness in Voluntarism.  Our Career Day Exposition was a response to the career needs of our students.  Thus the Exposition included 15 organizations which erected information booths and mounted displays rich in career information.
  • At the Grade 9 Level, 2 workshops were held to sensitize students during their Career Orientation.  The first workshop was conducted by Miss A. Coghiel to assist students in choosing their careers and also to encourage them to create Career Portfolios.  The second workshop conducted by the company “Choices”, assisted students in selecting the appropriate subjects suited for different career orientation. 
  • Between September and March, our Sixth Form students attended and participated in a number of educational workshops and seminars.  In February, they worked in association with the Student Council to host 6 students from St. Andrew High School.  In exchange, 4 of our students were hosted by St. Andrew High School.  Our guests attended classes and interacted with other Holy Childhood students and members of staff.
  • In March 2016 our Counsellors spearheaded the Peace Campaign which coincided with the Peace for Champs Initiative.  At Holy Childhood, our students received Anger Management Therapy and Stop Bullying Training. 

Our students also participated in a Peace Day Ceremony and March, as well as a Peace Project which involved planting flowers they associated with peace.

  • We thank our Sixth Form Supervisors, Mrs. Alzier Diah and Mrs. Winsome Watson, along with our two Guidance Counsellors, Mrs. Angelica Dalrymple-McCallum and Miss Tanisha Richards for their service to our school family.  We also wish to commend Dr. Rhonda Hutson-President of the PTA and her Team who played major roles in all the programmes carried out by the Guidance Department.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT:

The success of our programmes and the achievements of our staff and students would not have been possible without the help of those individuals and groups who offered scholarships and other forms of support to our School Family:

  • Empowering Euture Minds Inc.
  • Mr. Clovis Metcalfe, O.D.
  • Father William Jarema, Director of the Mercy Centre in Colorado Springs who donated 2 new basketball hoops to our Sports Department
  • Mr. Cecil Waugh, Executive Director of the Hixroy and Hazel Waugh Scholarship Program
  • The Miles Family- sponsors of the Sister Stephen Maria Miles Scholarship
  • HCHS Angels (Class of 1980)
  • Our Administrative Staff
  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security 
  • International Proxy Parent Organization
  • HCHS Alumnae Association
  • HCHS individual past students
  • The PTA and Yummy Bakery for contributing to our Breakfast Programme

We are very grateful for the assistance given which went a far way in meeting the needs of some of our students. We thank you, and look forward to your continued support.

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  (Mahatma Gandhi)

We commend the following Clubs and Societies along with their Advisors for their selfless service and achievements:

  1. The Breakfast Club which provided nutritious and tasty breakfast every morning for students.
  2. The Key Club which was awarded for being an outstanding Club at the Annual District Convention. They also received the Bronze Distinguished Service Award, and Ariel Stephens was awarded Key Clubber of the Year.  All 5 Board Members received the Distinction Award for going beyond the call of duty.  The Club was involved in the beach cleanup at Hellshire, hosted by Kiwanis Club; they participated in an outreach project to the Church of God Children and Golden Age Homes in May 2016; honoured our teachers on Teacher’s Day with bookmarks, and attended Mass at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston in honour of Key Club Week. 
  3. The Steel Band and School Band who continue to make us proud with their musical talent. During the year they performed at our Prize Giving, Carol Service, Sports Awards, Child’s Day and Graduation Ceremonies.  In December 2015, the Steel Band performed at our fundraising Barbecue, and was also guest performers at the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s Carol Service.  They also performed for the inmates and street people at the Marie Atkinson Home for the Elderly.  This last event was an outreach project of our Administrative Staff.
  1. In January, the School Band was invited to perform at the Jubilee Celebration for 4 Franciscan Missionary Sisters at the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre. They were again invited to perform at a fund-raising event held at Stella Maris. Still in January, they were invited to perform at the Jubilee Reception for Father Romanus Otuonye at Carter Hall.
  1. The Dance Club also featured at our Prize Giving and Sports Awards Ceremonies.  The Club was invited to perform at the Bank of Jamaica’s Lunch Hour Concert in May.  This event was in celebration of Child’s Month and was coordinated by Mr. George Howard who is the Advisor to the Dance Club.
  1. Our Red Cross Society was awarded 1st Place in the Drill Competition at the National Rally held in May.  They now hold the distinguished title of “Double Defending Champions!” The Drill Team has been invited to perform at King’s House and the Grand Gala in July 2016.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES:

“All work and no fun, makes Jack a dull boy.”  Not so at Holy Childhood.  We had lots of fun!  The most highly anticipated and ever popular events were:

  • The annual Dance Off Competition hosted by our Sixth Form students. Last Year’s competition was won by the group, “Authentic Divas.”
  • The annual Barbecue hosted by the PTA
  • The Miss Holy Childhood Pageant; also hosted by our Sixth Form students. We congratulate Wyomi Hopkins of Grade 8 who was crowned Miss Holy Childhood 2015
  • Child’s Day activities included Teacher versus Students’ Competitions: with Dandy Shandy and Hoola Hoop! (You should have seen the Principal!), Chess Competition, Basketball, Netball, and Water War –you should have seen our male students! ….I mean our male teachers! Well needless to say, the Teachers won overall to the great disappointment of the students.
  • There were also the Grades 9 Best Classroom Competition and the Grade 10 Best Class Competitions. Congratulations to 9-3 and their Form Teacher, Mrs. Winter- Williams. They each received a special button which reads: Best Class Competition Winner September-December 2015.
  • At the Grade 10 Level, 83 students were selected in November to be Sub-Prefects.  They later received leadership training at a Seminar hosted by Miss A. Coghiel. Congratulations to 10-5 who won the Best Class Competition..

While we celebrated the achievements of our students, we also took time to appreciate and pamper our staffOur annual Staff Christmas Dinner was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. April and May also found us celebrating Administrative Professional Day and Teacher’s Day at Laughing Waters in St. Ann.  Earlier this month, we celebrated our Ancillary Staff with a fun Day at Frenchman’s Cove in Portland. 

We also celebrated the invaluable service of our Staff:

  • In March, the Sixth Form Body honoured all teachers by treating them to breakfast, entertainment and gift tokens. 
  • In April, Miss Lavourne Mullings and Mr. Damion Brooks were named the Most Outstanding Administrative Professionals of the Year 2015-2016.
  • Also in April, Mr. Donville Evans was awarded by Zed Makeyla Technology as the First Runner-UP among the top (5) teachers from a selection of 18 schools for his effective use of the Renweb Management System.
  • In June, The History Department was voted by students as being the Most Caring Department.
  • Miss Shini Mathews was awarded the Most Outstanding Grade 7 Form Teacher for the Year, while Miss Antoinette Green and Miss Kathrina Gordon were awarded 2nd and 3rd Most Outstanding Grade 7 Form Teachers respectively.
  • Yet even as we celebrated and honoured each other, our faith was several times tested.  Earlier this month, our bursar, Mrs. Marjorie Lewis became ill suddenly.  Thank God she is now recuperating at home and is in good spirits. We ask your prayers for her continued healing. 

Our school family also grieved with several members of staff who lost their parents or other relatives during the year. Most recently, on June 10, we lost Christagaye Buchanan, a Sickler who died from complications after contracting Dengue. Our sympathies and prayers go out to Crystagaye’s mother, her family, friends, teachers and all others who grieve. May her gentle soul rest in peace, and light perpetual shine upon her. 

 

CONCLUSION

In concluding, I wish to extend deep thanks to our Board of Management, both vice Principals, Miss A. Coghiel and Mrs. S. Dunn-Greene, all members of the Academic, Administrative and Ancillary Staff who worked tirelessly to make this past year the success that it was.  It was indeed a blessed year, and we look forward to another year of blessings.  I also express special thanks to the following persons who assumed special duties while I was on leave: Miss A. Coghiel who served as Acting Principal, Mrs. G. McCleary who served as Acting Vice-Principal for Curriculum Planning and Development and Miss D. Bailey who served as Acting Head of the Mathematics Department. 

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We are most grateful to God whose abundant blessings we were able to share in word and deed.  We express sincere thanks and congratulations to those parents and guardians who were vigilant and supportive of their daughters’ education and the School’s Mission.  May God continue to bless your efforts and reward you through the successes of your children.

Sister Maxine Marie McIntosh, FMS

Principal

June 26, 2016

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