Fri | Oct 23, 2020

From troubled kid to Aberdeen scholar: former head boy cops 11 CSEC passes

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2020 | 12:12 AMJonielle Daley/Gleaner Intern
Eighteen-year-old Marlon Carnegie.
Eighteen-year-old Marlon Carnegie.
Marlon Carnegie: “They know me as someone who behaved badly and then changed. It motivated a lot of them to do better.
Marlon Carnegie: “They know me as someone who behaved badly and then changed. It motivated a lot of them to do better.

Former head boy of Aberdeen High, Marlon Carnegie, stands as a beacon of hope for his younger siblings and schoolmates, having copped 11 subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.

Though he was a well-rounded student who represented his school in various co-curricular activities, such as football and track and field, Marlon said that he was once a “troublesome” child.

“I was a nuisance from grade seven through to grade nine. I used to give trouble and play football and cricket in the classroom,” said the 18-year-old.


Because of his unmanageable behaviour, his mother, Atasha Buckley, sent him to his father for grade eight. Carnegie expressed that he did not like the work environment in the school he was placed at, and in turn, rebelled in hopes to go back home to his mother in Barton, St Elizabeth.

Carnegie explained that he only went to the school when he felt like it, and whenever he did, he made things difficult for everyone as he outbullied the bullies and was very disruptive and disobedient. His waywardness resulted in his father granting him his wishes out of frustration and sending him back to his mom, where he had to repeat grade eight at Aberdeen High school.

Fearful of not having achieving success at the end of six years, Carnegie had everyone in awe at the change in his behaviour. So much so that after becoming the head boy in grade 11, he was appointed junior deputy mayor for the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation in October 2019.

“They know me as someone who behaved badly and then changed. It motivated a lot of them to do better. I was behaving worse than most of them,” said Carnegie.

The youngster expressed that though he is excited about his passes, he expected it because he maximised on the extra time afforded because of quarantine.

“Every time the school gate closes, it’s more time for you to tighten up on what you have not yet garnered. There is no need for you to waste your time to get ready and catch a bus to travel to school, the tablet and the computer are readily available,” said Carnegie, who aspires to be a biochemist.

He scored eight grade ones and three grade twos, and hopes to obtain a scholarship to attend Monroe College in the United States. Buckley, a single mother of three, lost her job in a redundancy exercise in August but continues to provide unwavering support to her son, despite her financial constraints.

Carnegie expressed appreciation to his family, especially his grandmother, Perry Baker, who continues to be his source of motivation.

He is among the second cohort of Aberdeen High students to sit the CSEC exams. The school was founded in 2014.

“It is new, but I decided that I would not let that affect my ability to do great things,” said Carnegie.