17th August 2012, St. John’s Antigua- At just 16 years old, Johnston Village resident Joel Beazer is Antigua & Barbuda’s top student attaining a total of 15 Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) passes in this year’s May/June examinations.
The 16-year-old former Antigua Grammar School (AGS) student sat 14 subjects and gained distinctions in biology, building technology, principles of business, principles of accounts, information technology, technical drawing, physics, English language, English literature, Spanish, social studies, mathematics and chemistry, plus a grade one for French.
Additionally, Beazer registered privately with the Ministry of Education for history in which he gained an additional distinction.
Still reeling in his accomplishment, Beazer, who learnt of his success on the CXC website on Friday, said he was very surprised and happy that he passed all of his subjects and was elated when he received confirmation that he was indeed the top student.
“I was anxious because I was not very sure how I did but I was ecstatic when I checked the results and saw that I had passes in all, but I wasn’t able to get back on the site after that so I was waiting on official word,” Beazer said.
The 16-year-old comes from humble beginnings; as a toddler he was enrolled in the Heritage House Day Care and Pre-School before transferring to Christian Union Pre-School in Clare Hall. He then went to Christian Union Junior Academy and graduated valedictorian, gaining a scholarship to the AGS.
“First and foremost I’d have to thank God. There was never an important exam or task where a prayer wasn’t said for my success, His strength was always necessary. Next in line would be my parents; they were always there with that word of encouragement, the oh so necessary, ‘You can do it son.’ They, along with the rest of my family, especially my sisters, have supported me in almost anything I’ve wanted to do. Even when I doubted myself, they believed,” Beazer said in an interview.
He also credits all his teachers and principals from pre-school through secondary school for laying a strong foundation towards his success in life.
He added that competition from his friends also helped him to stay focused and sharp.
Beazer charged his peers, and especially young men, to commit to always achieving higher so they too can reap the sweet reward of success.
“Trust in God, set goals, things you want to achieve and develop ways of working towards them. Commit yourselves to getting there, no matter the sacrifice. Prioritise and manage your time. It’s important to know what can be done now and what can wait ‘til later. Deal with the important things first and then get to the others,” he said. “Well, knowledge is power, they say, and nothing learned is a waste.”
When asked why he opted to take on the additional subject of history, Beazer said it allowed him to push himself towards his full potential.
“It was never easy, sometimes nights were spent without sleep and days without play. Between the many after-school classes and assignments, there was a lot to be done. It was especially tough coming down to those last few months or weeks before the exam where SBAs had to be completed and serious revision.
“But teachers and friends can always help with any questions. Exchanging ideas and discussing topics made getting through some assignments and lessons easier. Time management is important,” the top student said.
Beazer, who has already registered for Antigua State College, has his sights set on pursuing a degree in biochemistry, bio-engineering or physics from Harvard or Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Proud mom, Nellie Beazer, said being a very rounded student who has the full support of family was instrumental in Joel’s accomplishments.
“I am the kind of mother who takes part in what my children do. He is not only academically (advanced) he plays golf, piano, saxophone and he was also on the Secondary School Concert Band and the Antigua Youth Symphony Orchestra,”she told OBSERVER.
Joel led his debate team to victory in the national inter-school competition last year and was part of the Junior Science Quiz Team that won in 2012. He also writes and won several competitions at the literary fest last year.
The AGS principal could not be reached for comment.