16-year-old Cornell Jno Baptiste, who according to the Ministry of Education made history in Dominica by becoming the first ever student to get 11 ONES in a CSEC exam, is attributing his success to “hard work, commitment and dedication.”
Jno Baptiste, who attended the St. Mary’s Academy (SMA), hails from the village of Salisbury and was the top student in the island’s 2007 GSAT exams.
Speaking to DNO in an exclusive interview, he said he is proud of his achievement. “I feel proud and elated and always knew that I was able to do it,” he stated.
Jno Baptiste plans to go to the Dominica State College (DSC) and major in Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. He wants to become a medical doctor and eventually an orthopedic surgeon, since he has broken his arms three times, or a pediatrician because of his “love for helping people.”
He has a message for other young people. “Be humble, you can’t ignore your studies and expect to do good, study hard, make the necessary sacrifices, be focused, give up being on the social media networks like Facebook and pray every day and night and God will see you through,” Jno. Baptiste advised.
His mother, June Jno Baptiste, who is a teacher at the St. Martin Primary School, said she is very happy because of her son’s achievements. “As a parent, I make it my business when it comes to the education of my children….. Cornell always wanted to pass a child who a few years ago had gotten 10 Ones, and so I am not one bit surprised,” Mrs. Jno Baptiste stated.
She labels her son as “an achiever” who always ensures that he “reads and his school work is done.”
“He has a passion for learning and I gave him the necessary support … he is not a book worm, he is just a humble child, very helpful to his fellow students, respectful and quiet. He has made his village Salisbury, school, church, family and friends proud,” she remarked.
Cuthbert Elwin is the principal of SMA where Jno Baptiste was the 2012 valedictorian. He said he is extremely happy at the outcome of his student’s results.
“For four years we have been trying to get 11 Ones and it has eluded us. Finally Cornell has conquered … I am not surprised at all …. he has always been a good working student, I wish him well in his future studies,” Elwin said.