Terrence Wilson remembers the day 12 years ago when he cut the ribbon to officially open the Victory Academy of Learning (VAL), a private primary school.
“It was my wife, Diann Jeremie-Wilson, the principal, and my residential home, but within three days a school evolved,” he said.
“There was a dire need for children to be at school. Not simply a school, but one that will assist in shaping children into exemplary role models to the world, starting from their community.”
At the start, 65 students were enrolled, but by the end of the second term, they had to find another building because the student population had grown beyond 100. Pre-school and infants remained at the private residence but a building was rented in St Augustine for the seniors.
“The first year, Standard Four was the highest level but due to continuing demands for placements, we eventually included Level Five. We began gaining success in SEA with students in the first 100 almost every year, and consistently, first 200,” Wilson recalled.
This year has been very successful for VAL in the SEA exam with 93 per cent of the students securing their first-choice schools. One student, Analee Nedd, excelled in Mathematics.
The school’s SEA teachers are Kimberly Antoine and Diann Jeremie-Wilson. Wilson pointed out: “We’re grounded by our motto: With God All Things Are Possible, our tag line ‘The Difference Is Excellence,’ and the students’ daily affirmation, ‘I’m An Excellent Leader and I Will Lead Myself.’ We also engage in a robust yet appropriately-managed, structured extra-curricular programme constituting sport, music and dance.
“We are dedicated to providing an environment where the child’s intellectual abilities and self-esteem grow hand-in-hand as moral and ethical values are instilled, while not compromising the standard of curriculum delivery.” He said the main objective is to support students in their growth.
“We thrive on excellence. The combination has proven successful hence our results are on a general plateau. On average, over 90 per cent advance to their first choice. We are very dedicated to every aspect of a child’s development that embraces spirituality, physical, emotional, relational, mental and social,” Wilson explained.
“From pre-school, the students are exposed to relevant self-development skills and activities including admirable conflict management. Statistics have proven the importance of raising leaders who will contribute positively to the world from an early age, so we do our part and pride our self in our success rate.
“At the preschool and infant levels, a foundation of socialisation and acceptable behaviour is laid, with emphasis on self-expression and display of skills and talents.”
VAL’s vice-principal is Oneika Valere and the other members of the teaching staff are Dillon Wilson, Khadija Antoine, Tonya Frederick, Kim Williams and Herma Nagassarsingh-Maharaj.
“Our students, teachers and parents are appreciated for their cooperation, and we look forward to another safe, exciting and productive academic year,” Wilson said.
In this year’s exam, VAL had two students each placed at Queen’s Royal College, Bishop Anstey High School East, Bon Air Secondary.
Others have earned places at Hillview, St George’s, Trinity East, St Mary’s, Caribbean Union Colleges, Bishop Anstey High School, St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph, North-Eastern College and St James Secondary.