Career & Education

This is for mom!

Jayden Ebanks turns grief at mother’s passing into top GSAT score

Sunday, June 24, 2018

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Jayden Ebanks received the highest Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) marks among his peers at St Andrew Preparatory this year. He scored 100 per cent in mathematics, 100 per cent in social studies, 99 per cent in language arts, 98 per cent in science, and 12/12 in communication task.

But the accomplishment is bittersweet for the 12-year-old whose grades have earned him a place at Wolmer's Boys' School. For, while his family, friends, teachers and the entire school community are revelling in his success, there is one person who is not around to share the joy. His mother, Deborah Poyser.

She passed away last October, just one month after he started grade six.

Ebanks channelled his grief into his exam preparations and feels that his mother would have been proud of his results.

He dedicates his achievement to her, declaring, “this is for my mom”.

St Andrew Preparatory Principal Janet Walsh-Davis and grade six teacher Phyllis Ramsay, who were with Jayden when JIS NEWS visited the school last week, heaped praises on the young boy.

Walsh-Davis, who fought back tears as she hugged him, says she knows his mother would have been extremely pleased as well.

“Jayden epitomises what St Andrew Prep School is all about – strength of character. Jayden's achievement means so much more to me than you can imagine. In the middle of getting ready for the GSAT exam, he lost his mom, who was his biggest champion. Everything that you see here is his mom.

“When I tell you that she was the best parent; she parented this child, she taught him how to stand on his own, so all of what you see, he did on his own,” the principal continued.

Poyser would also be present at every match to support her son who played football and tennis for the school, Walsh-Davis said.

“She was involved in everything. When her son was involved in football and table tennis, she was on every bus leaving with all the children. She wasn't the parent who was just for her son. She was for every other child that was going out; always supportive. It didn't matter how late they were out there, she was there with them,” she says.

The boy's class teacher adds that Ebanks has never missed a class, and would come to her for any information he may have missed during extra lessons that coincided with sports competitions or practice.

“Most times he does his homework before he leaves school. If he does not understand something, he is coming to me and not leaving until he understands. If he has to shed a tear or two, he's going to shed a tear or two, but he's not moving until he understands,” Ramsay said of her star pupil.

“With all of what he goes through…he is the only one from my class receiving perfect attendance. Despite everything, he did not miss a day,” she reported.

The educators also applauded Jayden's father, Eric Ebanks, for what they described as love and unwavering support of his son, particularly after his mother's passing.

Meanwhile, Jayden is excited about starting Wolmer's in September.

“I am looking forward to going to Wolmer's because it has a good sports programme and is also good in academics,” he noted.

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