When Rodika Jones received a call from her mother’s cellphone number on Friday she was naturally expecting that the person on the other end would be her mother.
It was not.
“They were like, ‘Rodika, I am calling on behalf of mom, because she is in an emotional state right now.’ Automatically, my heart dropped, because I didn’t know what she was calling for,” Jones told I-Witness News on Saturday.
“And I heard ‘emotional state’, so I though something was wrong. And then she said, ‘Your brother…” I was like ‘Oh lord, what happened now?’” Rodika further said, recounting the conversation from one day before.
“And she was like, ‘Your brother came first for Common Entrance.’ I was like, ‘For the school?’ She said, ‘No, he came first for the whole country,’”
It was then Rodika’s turn to pass on the message to her brother, SVG’s top performer in the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment, 10-year-old Laron Jones, who scored 95.40 per cent.
“I was laughing actually because I thought it was a joke she was playing on me,” Laron told I-Witness News, recounting his response after receiving the call from the elder of his two sisters.
His mother, La Fleur Jones, a teacher at Questelles Government School, which Laron attends, and his father, lawyer Roderick Jones, later called and told him he was indeed the top performer.
Laron then believed.
He told I-Witness News on Saturday that he was “very surprised”, that he was the top performer in the exam.
“I expected to do well, but I never had in my head that well to become the top student,” said the Twenty Hill resident, who turns 11 on Sept. 11.
Laron returned a perfect grade for maths.
“I have a very committed math teacher, Mr. Winsbert Williams,” he said.
Laron added that this mother, who recently completed a degree in maths, and his father, also helped him to prepare for the exam.
Laron’s life is a mixture of academics and hobbies, including going to the beach and swimming and music — playing music, listening to music, and singing.
He plays the guitar, pan, keyboard, and recorder. He learnt to play the recorder in school, guitar at a police camp, but he doesn’t know how he learnt to play the keyboard.
“I have one in my room and I just fiddled around with it,” he said.
Laron has entered several competitions, and has demonstrated great determination to succeed.
“I remember in Grade 4, I think, I entered the Courts reading competition. I didn’t do too well; I didn’t make it to the finals. I entered again and made it to the finals and didn’t win. Even though I wasn’t winning, I still liked competitions, and the failures just motivated me. And in Grade 5 I entered the Leo Club literacy competition and I won,” Laron said.
Laron’s father, before becoming a lawyer about two years ago, was a teacher for more than a decade, and his mother is still an educator.
But does the young Jones want to become a teacher?
“Definitely not,” he told I-Witness News, adding, “Children seem stressful these days and they might get worse.”
But Laron might study law.
“From my view, and looking at my father, I actually enjoy law. And he teaches me a couple things and I think I really like it; so I want to study it,” he said.