A second year Business student of the Ada Senior High School (SHS), Charity Kpelemeh Asigbey, has been adjudged winner of the second edition of the annual ‘Louise Webb of Excellence’ scholarship award.
In line with the structure of the award, the student’s school fees for one academic year, totalling Gh¢1,650, was fully settled by the Scholarship Fund.
The scholarship scheme is the brainchild of Ms Louise Webb, a Canadian woman who taught at the school about 47 years ago under the Canadian Universities Services Overseas (CUSO) programme, and it is targeted at brilliant, needy day female students of Ada.
It is the first of its kind to be established by any of the expatriates who came mainly from Britain (under the Voluntary Service Organisation (VSO) programme), United States of America (under the Peace Corps programme) and Canada (under the CUSO programme) to teach in the school during its formative years.
The Administrators of the fund are Dr Gabriel Ofoe Canacoo (Chairman), Emmanuel Amoako (Secretary), Sammy Tetteh – all former students of the school during the Louise Webb era – and Dr Edward Soga, a 1974 graduate of the University of Toronto and a retired dentist of the 37 Military Hospital, who made contact with Ms Webb during his studies at the University of Toronto.
Presenting the prize to the winner at a gathering of dignitaries on the school premises, the Chairman of the fund, Dr Canacoo, was full praised Ms Webb for the vision she had to set up the award, which “has lifted a lot of burden off parents.”
He said Ms Webb had been encouraged by the performance of the first awardee and was very keen on supporting more female students to make their dreams come true.
Dr Canacoo also informed the gathering that the maiden award was widely publicised by the Telegraph - a newspaper in Newfoundland, Canada - and that placed the Ada SHS on the international platform and generated a lot of interest in support for the fund.
He also said the award scheme had further placed the school in the limelight and paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the school for making it possible for agencies such as CUSO, VSO and the Peace Corps to make significant inputs into the development of the school.
He explained that the award was for the Overall Best Female Day Student in any of the four courses; namely, General Science, General Arts, Business and Visual Arts – and urged female students to strive hard to win it in subsequent years.
Dr Canacoo also announced that the fund had made all its commitments to the first winner of the award, Miss Akpanglo, a General Arts student, who was now in the final year.
“In addition to her school fees, the fund settled her WASSCE registration fee and other commitments, amounting to GH¢2,140,” Dr Canacoo added.
He thanked the headmistress and her team for their invaluable assistance in picking the eventual winner, adding that the fund would still count on their support in the years ahead.
In a welcome address, the headmistress, Mrs Valencia Quame, expressed her gratitude to Ms Webb for establishing the scholarship scheme, adding that “if all past tutors and students decide to follow the example of the Canadian, Ada Senior High would be the cynosure of all eyes.”
She said she believed the purpose for setting up the award for the best indigenous female day student “is to challenge the female students to work hard to distinguish themselves in their various fields of study”, and urged them to take up the challenge.
She lamented that the school had not been able to hold a speech and prize-giving day for some time now due to the lack of funds and she appealed to the past students to help.
In a short acceptance speech, Charity Asigbey said the award would inspire her to work harder to justify the trust and confidence reposed in her.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion included Nene Kerker Zomabi III, a pioneer student, who charged the current crop of students to see the school as a place that made the sky the limit of their academic pursuits, as well as the President of the Old Students Association (NIMELI), Mr Kenneth Kabu Kanor, who also encouraged the students to study hard and make Ada SHS, a school of choice for those who were looking for good schools to attend.