PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Eight merit list honours from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) have gone to a small private secondary school in Trinidad with a total population of just 300 students.
Six students of NorthGate College were named on the CXC 2018 merit list, for their performance at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) school-leaving tests. The merit list identifies the top ten students in the entire Caribbean in each subject offered at the CSEC and CAPE level.
At the CAPE level, Sebastian Rudden made the region’s top ten list for Pure Math and Physics, Brandon Wooding for Applied Math and Pure Math, Jeremy Edwards for Information Technology, Zachary Joel for Entrepreneurship, and Ethan Wilson for Building and Mechanical Engineering Drawing. At the CSEC level, Antenor Mohammed placed ninth overall in Principles of Accounts.
Among the six CXC honourees, three have also been awarded national scholarships by the government of Trinidad and Tobago for their outstanding CAPE performance. Sebastian Rudden and Brandon Wooding were awarded open scholarships, and Conrad Taitt received an additional scholarship. Rudden and Taitt excelled at Pure Math, Applied Math, Physics and Chemistry, while Wooding shone in Pure Math, Applied Math, Physics and Management of Business.
The trio made history, securing NorthGate College’s first national scholarships for academic merit since its inception in September 1999. Their upper sixth form class had only 17 students. The accomplishment highlights the small school’s long history of above-average academic achievement. All students have consistently obtained close to 100 percent pass rates for subjects offered at the CAPE and Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) levels.
“Over the last two decades, NorthGate has produced tangible and substantial results, and it has done so consistently in spite of operational constraints, human resource limitations and financial challenges. It is clear that God is with us, operating through the school’s systems to produce beneficial divine impact in the lives of these young people. NorthGate College is walking in the midst of a divine miracle,” said Dr Noel Woodroffe, the school’s founder and chairman, and president of Congress WBN, a faith-based organisation with operations in more than 100 nations.
“In particular, the entire NorthGate College community is proud of the achievement of Sebastian and Brandon and Conrad in the 2018 CAPE examinations. I expect these young men to continue to faithfully represent the core values imparted to them, as they have done consistently during their time as students,” he added.
“The success of our three scholarship winners is validation that our holistic approach to education produces results in an accurate community context. The input of staff, fellow students and collaborative partners is invaluable in creating the context for students to thrive,” said Yolande La Pierre, director of NorthGate College.
She added that the scholarly pursuit occurs within a framework that puts an emphasis on all-round development through extra-curricular activities.
“Our Trinidad campus has become a model for high-quality, holistic and balanced education, inspiring other independent NorthGate schools, one each in Jamaica, Uganda, USA and Zambia, and two in Kenya,” said Dr Marlon Jameson, co-chairman of NorthGate College, and an executive attaché to the Congress WBN president.
The three scholarship winners could hardly be better examples. Between them, the three had served in top student leadership positions and had consistently represented the school at a wide range of extra-curricular activities.
“It has been an amazing journey. I am exceedingly grateful to God, NorthGate College and my parents for crafting an environment which allowed me to grow and achieve this milestone,” Taitt said.
“NorthGate College has been a formative process for me. My sixth form journey in particular challenged me to greater levels of maturity as I had to balance my academics with leadership responsibilities. I thank God for the opportunity to attend such a wonderful school and for the culmination of my journey, winning a national open scholarship,” Wooding said.
Rudden plans to major in biomedical engineering at Columbia University, New York.
“There are several diseases that I think should just not exist, and I want to fix these. Further, I have a particular desire to provide treatment to those people in society who are underprivileged and to aid developing nations in the provision of the best healthcare to all.”
This history-making trio is now looking forward to a bright future.