“We live in a continuous miracle”, these wise words were spoken by someone I know who was commenting on the fact that if one is not careful one can live in the midst of something grand but because one has become accustomed to it the very context can seem ordinary when in fact it is not, it is astounding. I am fully convinced that in NorthGate College we are ordinary people who live in an extraordinary context. Nestled in the town of St Augustine, without fanfare, or constant public accolades, small miracles occur every day.
I can say from my vantage point that when I look at the community of which I am a part I can see how the simple actions that may seem common within our walls are not so for others. It is for this reason that I enjoy writing the Director’s report. It is a time when we can lean back and appreciate the order of our world. Without hesitation I know that we exist in a school context that is above the norm of what pertains in most institutions. It starts with excellent leadership from our Chairman and Co-Chairman who continue to provide us with the overarching structure and then empower us to fill the shape. That trickles down to the heart of the staff members who are not only dedicated but understand the principles of sacrifice and commitment: that which we expect of our children we model in thought, word and deed. This flows down to our students, those who we teach and impart life to and by no means is this a unidirectional process; they enrich our lives also with their zest for life, their witty commentary, their fresh, youthful perspectives. We can genuinely say that NorthGate College is a community beyond compare. So, come with me on a short journey as I draw the curtains, reveal the window and give you the opportunity to peek into our world and see something miraculous. We must never become so accustomed to our context that it becomes mundane, instead like the National Geographic tagline says – Always Wonder!
Academic Results 2011
The students did very well last year both at the CSEC and the CAPE levels. Our students continue to exceed both the national and the regional averages in core subject areas.
The students continue to perform well at the advanced level. Most of the graduates secure places at our local tertiary institutions or enrol in universities further afield. Their results attest to the fact that they are qualified to stand alongside their peers and continue the tradition of excellence.
All of the results above would not have been possible without our committed and talented staff. I would like us to put our hands together for them; they are an extraordinary company, people who have seen the vision of the College and work tirelessly to bring it to pass. This year we added a number of persons to our fold: Mr Rellon Brown, Mrs Lyanna Brown, Mr Sheldon Kelly, Ms Rhea Plante and Ms Domonique Pulido.
One of the ways to look through the window into our world is by observing the co-curricular activities. Such a diagnostic tool is a true measure of the life of the school. There are so many school wide activities that yield an opportunity for the vibrant life of the College to burst forth, here is a snapshot: Folk Song, Calypso and Storytelling Friday, Staff vs Student Football match, Annual Sports Day, Team Wordsworth, MFL Spelling Bee, The Ultimate Math Challenge, CSI Whodunnit, 5K Fun Fitness and Male Empowerment Workshops.
Extra Curricular Activities
Animation, Athletics Club, Board Games, Dance, French Club, Hockey, Photography and Swimming were all active this year and resulted in some recognition in national competitions.
Min of Foreign Affairs Essay Competition – Lyndell Byer, Timothy Hinds, Asia O’Neill and Camille Ricketts were in the top 20 out of 160 entrants. They won book vouchers and received certificates of commendation.
Zonal Sports – Our school surely showed that we may be small in number but we are certainly a force to reckon with on the field. There are too many students and events to mention so I will simply select some of our graduates who stood out. For the field events Daniel Tenia 1st place at U20 long jump and 3rd place in U20 discus. For the track events Kristian Farrell placed 1st in the U20 200m and an unbeatable 1st in the U20 400m
Swimming – in the Tidal Wave Aquatics Secondary Schools Swim Meet NGC placed 3rd overall. Some of graduates were part of the winning team; Jabari Brown and Frederique Francis are notable mentions.
Dance – at the third National Dance Association’s Secondary Schools Dance Festival two NGC groups made it to the finals are competing against over 40 schools in eight genres of dance. Our bele dancers were specially commended.
Field Hockey – we made our mark. In the first term we played in the Paragon Hockey Club Youth Tournament where we copped the 1st place prize. In the third term we participated in the National Secondary Schools Hockey Board Tournament our U15 team placed 2nd with Daniel Byer getting a trophy for Most Goals Scored and Nick Pascall getting a trophy for Most Promising Player. In the U20 tournament we placed 3rd Lyndell Byer was the team captain.
Having had the opportunity to view a part of our world I am sure that you all certainly agree that what we do live in something that is beyond the norm; a world of super-productivity, of excellence of conduct, of collegiality and camaraderie. This is the 9/10s that lies behind what the casual observer sees when he passes on Wilson Street in St Augustine. This is what gives us the authority to say to our students ‘accept no limitations except those designated by God’. Nothing that was presented in this report was done by force of human will or an abundant supply of physical resources. This is how we know the pattern works: simply do what God requires and you will live the miracle. Graduates as you leave here today I charge you to remember, remember your heritage, remember your source, remember you saw the pattern – once a NorthGate student, always a NorthGate student.
I thank you.