Mom Trudie Clarke (left) and son Matthew Clarke
June 24, 2022
Top performer at CPEA wants to be a professional tennis player

Matthew Clarke of the Sugar Mill Academy who placed eighth overall and third for boys in the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) exams scored the highest for Language with 96%.

Of the four subject areas, Language was the easiest for the 10-year-old, who disclosed that he likes it.

His mother,Trudie Clarke revealed that “From the beginning I think he’s always done good in Language. He had a very good basic beginning of language with phonics and all of that and from an early age he started reading and being able to spell and sound words out, so from then on he always reads.”

“…He’s always had that solid foundation and always did well at that,” she said, while on the other hand mathematics poses a challenge.

Matthew thought about book recommendations and he noted that he enjoyed the “Diary of the Wimpy Kid” series and “Wings of Fire”.

“What I like about reading is, whenever I read a chapter, it starts an adventure and then in another chapter it continues with it. So basically I just have to keep on reading to find out,” he says.

However, the youngster, who also plays the steel pan, has something else in mind for his career: being a professional tennis player.

“I started tennis from a young age and from then I just like to hit the ball and play with other people. And then after that I started being a coach and then I started playing more and more, then I started liking tennis more and more,” he explained.

He will be representing St Vincent and the Grenadines this month in Trinidad and Tobago.

The all-rounder disclosed that it was always his goal to be in the top 10.

“I started aiming for top 10 ever since we started getting ready for CPEA,” Matthew noted.

He was shocked and happy when he heard his score.

Shocked because, “I thought I would come somewhere in the top 10 but I didn’t think I would actually do that good.”

His mother said that for the family, “He surpassed our expectations, he did extremely, extremely well you know I was just really, really excited for him, and happy that he did so well, that it all paid off from all the stress, and all the extra work.”

“…Through it all we just try to keep him grounded, his father, (Gary Clarke) and I- we believe that both the physical and the mental is important with the exams when studying so we kept him up with the tennis,” she also explained.

The mother added that Matthew did a lot of work with his teachers and past papers with his father.

Perhaps this is why his advice is “Study a lot and don’t cause mischief in class. And listen to your teachers.”

Matthew said his teachers were a big support, and his family, including his sisters.

Apparently one of his twin sisters who wrote the exam last year wrote him a letter explaining what to do and what not to do.

All the students of the school will be planning joint celebrations.