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CCS principal: Shantinique Miller and Elkera Cooper represent what hard work and discipline is about
  • C.C. Sweeting valedictorian Shantinique Miller, right, and salutatorian Elkera Cooper, left, graduated high school with the highest grade point averages (GPA) among all New Providence senior school graduates. AHVIA J. CAMPBELL

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Jun 26, 2017

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Shantinique Miller and Elkera Cooper did battle in the best possible way over the last three years, and at the first public schools combined graduation ceremony, the C.C. Sweeting (CCS) Senior High School students had attained the highest grade point averages (GPA) of their peers across the seven senior schools.

CCS’ valedictorian, Miller, had a final GPA of 3.83; Cooper, the school’s salutatorian was a “hair” behind with a 3.82 GPA.

School Principal Joan Gray said that Miller and Cooper represent what hard work and discipline is all about, and they have been able to “put C.C. Sweeting on the map”.

“They had fun at school. They were not just students who were what we call ‘bookworms’. They were balanced students who didn’t have a problem assisting with their peers. They have been able to express our success as a school in a way that we would have had many challenges doing. Through the excellent work that they have done, they showed that C.C. Sweeting is a school to be reckoned with.”

The principal described the feeling she got when she realized that her school’s top two students had the highest GPAs of all government school graduating seniors this year as an “absolutely terrific and awesome feeling”.

She said CCS has always been a school that strives to live up to its motto — striking for excellence; Miller and Cooper did them proud in allowing the school to live up to that.

“They have shown that they understand what school is about and were prepared over the past three years to work exceptionally hard to ensure they did their best,” said the principal.

Miller and Cooper came to CCS in 10th grade after performing exceptionally well in junior school with outstanding Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) results. They maintained honor roll status throughout high school. They sat Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exams in 11th grade, which they passed successfully, allowing them to focus on advanced placement (AP) classes in their final year, as well as a few BGCSE exams.

Cooper scored a 1,330 on her Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT); Miller scored 1,270.

Both young ladies have their sights set on tertiary level education, with Miller leaning toward forensic science and Cooper’s long-term goal being becoming a hotelier — owning, operating and managing a five-star hotel.

Over their three years in senior school, Gray said the duo made a difference. The school plans to hold the young ladies up as examples to returning students in the fall as well as new incoming students to the institution.

“Both of them were prefects, so already they have become role models to our students as persons they want to emulate. But apart from that, at our prize giving ceremony, during Shantinique’s address she encouraged students to follow suit. The fact that they would have been so historic in attaining such great status at the Bahamas High School Diploma ceremony, she challenged students to ensure that we (CCS) continue to hold that spot. In addition to that, we have been looking to promote our school more in terms of highlighting these students and others who have done exceptionally well.”

Gray, who arrived at the school one year before the young ladies, said at CCS they claim to be a quality school and are working feverishly toward that daily. She hopes to see academic success in future students coming out of CCS as she did this year with Cooper and Miller.

She said the graduation ceremony was a “goosebumping experience”.

“It was absolutely awesome — the day of reveal … the unveiling. The day of showing and letting everyone know who we are as a school,” said Gray.


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