While most high school students are enjoying their summer vacations, a select group of John Gray High School seniors are preparing to help their peers, and school, come September.
A group of 32 students, who have been chosen to wear the distinctive blue-and-white uniforms as prefect leaders, recently completed a training programme on the school compound.
These role models must be committed to fostering leadership, direction and spirit, while maintaining a positive environment.
As leaders of the school community, the teenage prefects are also expected to have good academics as well as be reliable, of exemplary conduct and morals, civic-minded and involved in school activities and clubs.
‘I volunteered as I thought this is a good opportunity to show our respect for our school, while being an ambassador, and setting a good example to other students and showing them that they can also do it themselves,’ said Chanelle Ramoon, 16.
‘I expect the other students to be supportive, for we already respect each other, and I especially look forward to mentoring Year-10 students and doing whatever I can to help.’
In addition to being serious about school, Chanelle enjoys extra-curricular activities such as CASA and the Youth Ambassadors Programme.
John Gray’s incoming Year-12 Head Cassandra Ebanks conducted the prefect training sessions, along with the outgoing Year-12 Head Chris Bounds, and Deputy Principal, Pastoral, Delores Thompson.
‘The selection process does not discriminate by set placements, but focuses on any student with good interpersonal skills, especially in interacting with other students and intervening to correct minor issues where necessary,’ said Ms Ebanks.
She added that these students were appointed from tutor groups, screened by the year head and deputy year head, with the final selections being made by the school management. While not all of the 50-plus children who were eligible could be accommodated, the leadership programme will be reviewed in November and possibly several more students added.
The summer orientation sessions emphasised the high expectations, and the students were also given the opportunity to decline their positions, but none did.
‘There’s too much nonsense at the school and I just want to make the school better, and help other students to improve their discipline,’ said Phillip Neale-Bodden.
In addition to enjoying subjects such as physics and geography, Phillip also participates in the Youth to Youth and Duke of Edinburgh programmes. He is honing his leadership skills while working this summer as a supervisor of the Black Pearl skating arena.
The new prefects will be pinned and meet with the principal at the beginning of the new school term. John Gray High has a student population of almost 1,000 teenage boys and girls.