Leading girl Adia

Eleven-year-old Adia Jovanna Deane of St Angela’s could not contain the excitement she felt when principal Kim Somerville announced that she was the top girl in this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination.

She buried her face in her hands, kept it there for what seemed like an eternity, then stared in amazement as her classmates screamed and applauded.

An excited Adia Deane (centre) when she first got the news that she was top girl.
An excited Adia Deane (centre) when she first got the news that she was top girl.

She was pleasantly surprised, asking the principal if she really meant “me”.

The joy and jubilation was also evident on Principal Somerville’s face, tears of joy settling in her eyes.

Teachers hugged and congratulated the student on a job well done.

Deane deservingly received this attention after she recorded a total score of 249.24 A. She scored 97 in both English and Mathematics and will be heading to Harrison College at the start of the new school year in September.

Giving the child an opportunity to allow the news to sink in for a moment, Somerville said what made her most proud of the high achiever was the fact that she remained focused on preparations for the examination, while balancing a swimming schedule.

Deane, who has been swimming since the age of four, is a national swimming champion, coming out on top in her age group when she participated in a recent international meet here.

“It is kind of shocking. I didn’t expect it at all. It is exciting because all of the work paid off,” Deane told reporters, as she thanked her teachers who contributed to her successes in the classroom and in the pool.

“I like to read a lot, but that would always distract me, so I had to put the books away for some time.”

Deane said she was unsure about career goals, but she planned to take her mother’s advice that her entry into secondary school was the beginning of her educational journey.

In the meantime, Deane plans to hit the leisure books again and to add to her collection.

In fact, when her mother Kim Deane greeted and congratulated her at the Collymore Rock-based school, the student asked for books as her reward.

“Can I have some new books, please?” she requested.

The proud mother told Barbados TODAY there was “never a dull moment” with her daughter who never ceased to amaze with her achievements.

“There is never a dull moment with you, Adia,” the mother told the beaming child.

“What is special about this moment is that she is a replica of her dad [Adrian Deane]. She was born on his birthday, January 21, Errol Barrow Day.

“And now she is going to Harrison College and that is where her father went. He’s also a former Barbados exhibitionist,” the mother said.  

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