Even though Kaela Calvert started at a slower pace than the rest of her class in grade six, the 19-year-old head girl has completed the final leg of her secondary education with fourteen grade ones and two grade twos across CSEC and Cape Units 1 and Unit 2. In grade six, Calvert’s teachers conducted a learning assessment to determine if she was ready for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) has since replaced. The assessment was done because her teachers were concerned about her inability to perform at the required level, and the results proved that Calvert was unable to perform as well as her peers. Therefore, she needed more time to complete the GSAT examinations.
Calvert has come a far way since then and became the head girl at Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha.” She attained grade ones in seven Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, including mathematics, English language and literature, information technology, physics, chemistry, and Spanish, as well as a grade two in Visual Arts. She also received ones on the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Unit 1 in physics, pure mathematics, and computer science, along with a grade two in communication. Calvert recently obtained all ones in computer science, pure mathematics, Caribbean studies, and Unit 2 physics.
According to the Jamaica Observer, Calvert said that she was always in disbelief after seeing her results and knowing that she had scored 60% on GSAT. She recalled that she had screamed a lot upon seeing her results, which made her “elated and pleased”. She expressed gratitude to God and her family for the proud moment, which she believes is confirmation that her grandmother’s words, “What men have done, men can do,” are true. Calvert added that her sister, who was one of the deputy head girls of the institution in 2020–2021, motivated her to do better than her sibling’s accomplishments. She also credited her teachers, who challenged her, for their “unwavering support” and said her family’s happiness makes her eager to strive for greater heights.
Calvert is currently a freshman at The University of the West Indies, and she grew up in Portmore, St Catherine, with her parents and two sisters. The teen, who enjoys making art and playing badminton, started her education at Alpha Infant and then changed to Jessie Ripoll Primary School. According to her GSAT results, she proceeded to Excelsior High School and completed two years at the institution. She explained that while she is having problems with arithmetic, she is steadily improving in other courses, including Spanish and French, in which she had to work twice as hard and have faith.
“Having an older sister also helped in motivating me to do my best and to also strive for excellence,” she stated. “After the first two years at Excelsior, I transferred to the academy, where I united with my older sister. My older sister has always been one of my role models and I feel accomplished when she expresses that she is proud of my performance.” According to the Jamaica Observer, Calvert said that she was raised in a Christian home, and the exposure to large audiences in church while being a part of the choir, dance, sign language, multimedia, and praise and worship team is what made her bold.
When the pandemic changed the traditional way of learning, she had to adjust to online learning and presented many challenges, such as maintaining an excellent average and using visual stimulation to replace the physical lap setups. Calvert, who had to balance all church activities and her school work, said she had aimed to set an “all-rounded standard” for the ladies at the academy and her younger sister. She expressed gratitude to her father, the pastor of Pentecostal Redeemed Church of God in Arnett Gardens, and her mother, a teacher, for their support and confidence in her capabilities.