Avid reader Jemma at No. 1 too

Reading is at the centre of top 2015 11-Plus Examination student Jemma Evelyn’s life.

She also loves numbers and enjoys the thrill of arriving at accurate calculations.

When she received the results by school officials today, Jemma was shocked that her 98 in English and 100 in mathematics, with a total of 249.12, A, had her sharing the top position with St Angela’s Jasmine Simmons.

Top student Jemma Evelyn (centre) being embraced by her happy parents Zary (left) and Kristina.
Top student Jemma Evelyn (centre) being embraced by her happy parents Zary (left) and Kristina.

However, her class teacher Kim Lewis was not at all surprised, describing the student as an avid leader who had an extensive vocabulary and paid great detail to the principles of mathematics.

“I want to be an author or a mathemetician, but I have not decided yet,” an excited, yet composed Jemma told Barbados TODAY.

The student will be heading to Harrison College, the alma mater of her grandfather and his four brothers, and also an uncle.

Jemma recalled that when she received word from school officials that she had been top student, she first thought it was a joke.

“I was really concerned about the mathematics, because it took me much longer than it usually does. But now I am really happy and relieved,” she said, looking quiet relieved.

Like Jasmine, Jemma also stated she had to give up a number of her weekends, working on past papers and revising. But she also clearly stated she did not give up her reading.

“I read every day. I read before I go to bed, and sometimes in the afternoon. When I wake up I read.

“I like fantasy books. I just like to read,” said the student who also dances and play the piano.

Jemma’s advice to those students preparing to sit the 11-Plus next year is to become an avid reader, put in the extra work, and “listen to your teachers”.

“Make sure you don’t skip questions, and check over your work a lot. And listen to your parents too.

“My mum always corrects my work when I do it at home; and she always encourages me and helps me with all of my homework,” she said.

Her mother Kristina Evelyn said she was very pleased with the performance of Jemma, who she said was anxious during the days leading to the announcement of the results.

“But she is dedicated and focused, and we are really happy for her,” her mum said.

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