News
June 20, 2014
Ashton has perfect score in Math

When he was just 22 days old, Khalil Ashton was diagnosed with pneumonia. His heart had stopped beating for half an hour and doctors had pronounced him dead.

Miraculously, Khalil was revived and today, the 11-year-old has written his name in the history books of the Lodge Village government School {{more}}by becoming the first student to score 100 per cent in a Mathematics examination in the Grade six school leaving exam.

The Old Montrose, Dasent Cottage resident also performed well in the two other subject areas, scoring 96 for Science and 71 for English in the recently held CPEA exams, which replaced the Common Entrance exams this year.

He placed 147th overall and 60th for boys.

“I feel great because it’s not often people get 100 percent for Mathematics,” A jovial Khalil told SEARCHLIGHT when we visited him at the school yesterday afternoon. Khalil tied with Laron Jones of the Questelles Government School as the top perfomers in Mathematics for 2014.

Khalil disclosed his three main secrets for doing so well in the exams — he relaxed, did not stress and he revised.

“I just like all the subject areas in Math. When I went into the exam that morning, I was feeling joyful all the time…,” Khalil said.

When asked if he had any doubts that he would have done well, Khalil responded: “Without a shadow of a doubt, I didn’t have any!”

Khalil said he knew he had passed the exam, but never imagined he would have gained a perfect score.

The well-spoken youngster said he has always been good in Mathematics, but started fully realising his potential in grade two.

With his mind already set on pursuing studies in aviation, the future pilot will commence that journey when the new school term opens in September, after booking a spot at the St Vincent Grammar School.

In his spare time, Khalil said he loves to read books and catch up on football. And while he’s not familiar with the teams currently participating in the FIFA World Cup, Khalil admitted that he is a fan of Barcelona and Brazil striker, Neymar.

“Whichever team Neymar is on, I am backing,” he chuckled.

Proud mother Shawn Ashton said she is not surprised with her son’s achievement, stating that she knew her son had the potential to do well academically and had been eager to to write the CPEA exams.

According to Ashton, an employee at the Postal Corporation, she would push Khalil to do his best in whatever he was doing.

“I used to make sure that he do his best. When exam came around, I would let him relax a bit. I always tell him that if he wants to achieve, it is up to him. He will be the one to benefit in the long run… The doctors had already pronounced him dead and look at Khalil now after being pronounced dead,” Ashton said as she smiled down at her son, who in turn, reciprocated that smile.

Father Nolly Ashton, like his wife Shawn, said he has always been behind their son, pushing him to do well.

The contractor said he sought evening lessons for his son, especially in Mathematics, because he always knew that was his son’s strong point.

The proud parents of two other children, a nine-year-old and a two-year-old, thanked all the teachers and other persons who helped in their son’s success.

Roger Butcher, who teaches Math and Science at the school, said over the years, they had to address the attitudes of the students towards Mathematics.

“This was not known as a top school, but over the years with our hard work, commitment and dedication, it is paying off,” Butcher, a teacher with 20 years experience, told SEARCHLIGHT.

Describing Khalil as an “exceptional student,” Butcher said he was always willing to attend classes early and put in extra work where necessary.

Butcher also expressed his satisfaction at the other students who gained 90 per cent and more in the Mathematics exam.

Headteacher of the school June Russell expressed her thanks to all the teachers, especially those in Grade six who went above and beyond in helping the students to achieve their goal.

“All of the teachers have worked hard and contributed immensely. I am proud of Khalil and all the other students who sat that exam,” she said.