Forty-eight students of Sister Mary Patricia Russell Junior High School (SMPRJHS) recently (Saturday, September 29) participated in the school’s first prefect training session.
Held on the school grounds, the students were briefed on what was expected of them, as leaders at the institution.
Chairperson of the School’s Prefect Committee Leona Cooper explained, “Today we had our first training session, where Shanna Wilson (Senior Mistress, SMPRJHS) presented on ‘Moving forward with excellence.’ She also shared a video presentation with the students.”
Cooper revealed that Wilson’s presentation was to explain the importance of consistency in their new roles as prefects, in order to carry out their duties and expectations throughout the entire school year.
“We want them to continue with that excellent training, as well as to maintain their grades and remain a leader throughout the school year and not just at the beginning,” said Cooper.
“We also had a presentation on roles and responsibilities, advising them on what is expected of them. We also discussed various scenarios entitled, ‘What would you do?’
“The students were given examples of situations that may occur at school. We asked the students to present on what they would do in similar situations, giving us their ideas on what should be brought to the attention of the office or things they may be able to handle themselves, as well as leading activities within the school. Sometimes we call on them, last minute, and we want them to always be available and always be willing, ready and able to perform all of their duties,” Cooper added.
Revealing the criteria for the role, Wilson said, “The students’ grade point average (GPA) must have been a 3.0 and above. Our senior prefects already have a minimum of two Bahamas Junior Certificates (BJC’s).”
Asked if possessing BJC passes was a requirement to become a prefect at the school Wilson responded, “We added it based on the fact of the students meeting that criteria. So, it was added this year, and that is why we have such a large number of prefects. In the past we would not have had that many prefects, but we had many of our eighth grade students that did really well last year and so this year, we have a large number of them as senior prefects.
“Our principal’s (Joyanne Pennerman) mandate was that due to our school size and the large number of prefects, she informed us that once those students met those requirements, she wanted us to have them installed. We did not eliminate anyone that met the requirements, because she wanted to ensure that everyone was given the opportunity to become a prefect.
Pennerman furthered, “I am very proud of the students that have been selected. There are 48 of them, and they all met the criteria. If there were 100 or 200 of them, I would have wanted all of them installed, because we are here to build leaders.
“An educational institution is here to train and educate our children. Unless they had some severe infraction … yes, I am encouraging all 48 of those students to serve as prefects, because we are here to train and direct our young people.”
Of the 48 students to be installed there are two female Head Prefects and one male Head Prefect.
Ghandi Hield, one of the female Head Prefects selected, shared her thoughts on her first session of prefect training. “It is an honour to become a prefect, especially a Head Prefect. It shows that I did something right last year. I hope to, again, become a prefect when I enter the Grade 10 at St. George’s High School next year. I am happy about it.”
As this was the students’ first session of prefect training, Hield was questioned on what was discussed during the two-hour training course.
“The session was good, we did exercises and discussed scenarios. They advised us on how we should act and behave as prefects. We learned a lot, and we will have another training session, hopefully, so that we can learn even more before our prefect installation.”
Hield concluded that she is excited for her new role as a Head Prefect of SMPRJHS and she is up for the challenge.
Tanaz McDonald, the sole male Head Prefect for the 2018/2019 academic year also shared his thoughts on being selected to serve in such a capacity.
“I was not a prefect in Grade 8, so becoming a Head Prefect in Grade 9 … I am really proud of myself. As I am the only male Head Prefect, that also makes me feel really good.
“Today we learned the rules of being a prefect; the Do’s and Don’ts of being a prefect. I know exactly what to do to remain a prefect, and I am up for the challenge ahead,” said McDonald.
The Prefect Installation for the 48 students will take place on October 17, on the school grounds.