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Graduates of the Hague Primary & Infant School listen attentively as Nina Peters, Business Relationship and Sales Manager, addresses them during their school leaving ceremony, held at the First Assembly Church in Falmouth, Trelawny on July 2.

As schools and the wider educational sector continue to adjust to the pangs of COVID-19, a banker has encouraged students to persevere, as they adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Nina Peters

Nina Peters, Business Relationship and Sales Manager, JN Bank, smiles as she extends a socially distant greeting to graduate Andwele Haye, after he presented her with a thank you gift for her presentation at the Hague Primary & Infant School graduation at the First Assembly Church in Falmouth, Trelawny on July 2.

Addressing grade six students of the Hague Primary and Infant School in Trelawny, at their virtual graduation ceremony recently, business relationship and sales manager at JN Bank, Nina Peters, charged youngsters to not be hard on themselves if they don’t succeed at their first attempt.

“Don’t be hard on yourself if you have failed. Nothing beats trying. Get up, check what you may have done wrong, and try again,” she told the 135 school leavers, on July 2.

Referencing the success story of Colonel Sanders, she told the students that it was not until he was 62 years old that he successfully pitched his chicken recipe to restaurants, after several attempts, and launched what we know today as KFC.

“After many tries, he eventually became the success for which he is remembered. It is said, that before reaping success, Colonel failed at least 1,009 times!” she informed students.

Mrs Peters added that failures are teachable moments, which provide tremendous lessons that could result in great achievement, if students persist.

She also encouraged the Hague graduates to maintain “a heart full of gratitude,” and to be proud of their roots.

“If you are grateful, you cannot be stingy with your blessings. Share your success with others along the way. Help your classmates when they don’t understand something, but you do. Help someone who has less than you and be grateful that you can do it! Jamaica will not be the kind of successful country we want it to be, if we are all mean with our achievements and do not want to see others succeed. Help others along the way, in the same way others helped you,” she urged them.

She noted that Hague Primary has an excellent culture of achievement of which they should proud and not be ashamed.

More than half the students doing the Primary Exit Profile secured placements at traditional high schools. Students have also consistently copped top medals in the annual Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) competitions in: music, dance, speech and drama. For the past three years, the school has also produced the Spelling Bee Champion for the parish of Trelawny.“Be proud past students of Hague Primary & Infant School and of your parish, Trelawny, Mrs Peters urged the students. Do not let anyone undermine you, minimise you, or make your school and parish feel less than anywhere else.”

Nina Peters, Business Relationship and Sales Manager, JN Bank; and Dameian Elvin, Principal of Hague Primary & Infant School,

Nina Peters, Business Relationship and Sales Manager, JN Bank; and Dameian Elvin, Principal of Hague Primary & Infant School, greet each other before the start of the graduation, held at the First Assembly Church in Falmouth, Trelawny on July 2.

“Speak proudly about where you went to school and where you are from, wherever you go; and I guarantee you, doors will open for you. As Marcus Garvey said, “With confidence in yourself and your roots, you have already won the race.” Shout loud: ‘A Hague me come from!’ ‘A Trelawny me come from!” she charged students.

Principal of Hague Primary and Infant School, Mr Dameian Elvin, said he is  happy with the performance of the students and the school, which he attributes to the several literacy and numeracy programmes, which the institution has implemented to build capacity.

“The scores are looking good and we are growing as a school. We have a literacy programme for students in grades one to five; two numeracy programmes called, Stop Everything and Multiply (SEAM): and the Mathematical Advancement Programme (MAP). We also have a reading programme called Drop Everything and Read (DEAR): as well as, a music programme,” he explained.

Mr Elvin added that the school serves a diverse community; and, therefore, tries to meet the needs of every child through different means.

“We challenge our children; and our co-curricular activities help to harness the skills of students. For those who do not excel academically, we provide an avenue for them through sports and music,” he informed.

JN Bank recently provided a tranche of instruments to assist the school with further strengthening its music education for students.

Mrs Peters underscored that participating in co-curricular activities is important for the development of students.

“Be ‘nuff!’ Even if you are not good at any particular thing, but you have an interest and want to learn,” she encouraged the students. “Therefore, get involved and discover your hidden talents! These activities will help in your development. You’ll become a well-rounded student; and later on, in life, a productive adult,” she encouraged.

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