Trinidad and Tobago's Joel Kissoon has topped the region in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Kissoon who attended Presentation College, San Fernando, has won the Dennis Irvine Award for Outstanding Performance.
As a result of his achievement, Presentation College, San Fernando, has been named School of the Year by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
The 2017 Regional Top Awards were announced at the meeting of the Sub-Committee of the School Examinations Committee meeting held on Tuesday at CXC Headquarters, Barbados.
When the Express broke the news to the 19-year-old yesterday he was almost speechless.
"Oh my God, are you serious? This is so great!" an excited Kissoon said.
"I don't know how to feel. I am shocked," he exclaimed, saying he could not wait to get off the phone to share the news with his relatives, teachers and friends.
Kissoon said he signed up for twice the number of CAPE subjects as he was unsure of his career path.
"Usually students do four subjects, I did eight, and I did a total of 16 CAPE units. I did those subjects to cover my bases. I did a lot of science and maths subjects in case I decided to do medicine and I did foreign languages in case I wanted to become a UN Ambassador or something," he explained.
Kissoon achieved Grade One in 14 units and Grade Two in two units.
"Doing that many subjects was not as difficult as I expected. Lucky for me I had really good teachers who worked with me. I thought I would have had to drop some of the subjects but I didn't," he said.
Kissoon said he has taken a year off from studies.
"I am looking into medical school. I got through with Mt Hope but I asked for a year off to look into my options abroad, to ensure that I wanted to do medicine," he stated.
Hard work pays
Principal of Presentation College San Fernando, Dexter Mitchell, was just as surprised at the news.
"I am now hearing this. It is indeed humbling and we just want to thank the Almighty God for blessing us with small mercies. I think hard work paid off and I want to commend Joel, the teachers, students, and all our major stakeholders who have worked with us over the years," he said.
Also in winners' row this year was Naparima Girl's High School student Chela Aufderheide, who won the Language Studies award with Grade I in 12 Units.
The awardees will receive their prizes at the Regional Top Awards Ceremony on December 14 at the St Kitts Marriott Resort.
Guyana takes most awards
Three of the top six CAPE awards were copped by students of Guyana and one by a student of Jamaica.
Shawn Shewram of St Rose's High School, Guyana, took the ACCA/CXC Business Studies Award, becoming the first recipient of the ACCA-sponsored award. He achieved Grade I in 12 Units.
Shannon Woodroffe, of Queen's College, Guyana, won both the Mathematics and Natural Science awards in 2017 with Grade I in 13 Units, all with "As" in the Module grades.
She is the second pupil to win both a CSEC award and a CAPE award, CXC said in a news release yesterday.
Jared Johnson of Campion College, Jamaica, is the winner of the Hodder/CXC Humanities Award.
He achieved Grade I in nine Units and Grade II in one Unit.
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