Slain May Pen High student had bright future
Stefica Smith led devotion at the May Pen High School last Thursday, and so powerful was the ministry that some of the teachers were moved to tears.
Young Stefica was a model student who had made a mark on the institution. But her life was brought to an untimely end by nasty cowards who abducted and murdered her, and then dumped her body in a canefield.
Yesterday, a day after the gruesome discovery of 17-year-old's body, the teachers again shed tears.
"She came in second form at age 13," said Karen Gordon, who taught Smith for three consecutive years.
"The Stefica I knew was very peaceful and didn't like conflicts. She was a very sweet, humble, young lady," shared Gordon, adding that she is having a hard time dealing with her loss.
Lelieth Royal Wright, another teacher, said her students are shaken up and fearful.
"One grade-four student told me she was afraid to go outside. Another one, her parent told me this morning she refused to sleep in her bed alone. The child stayed in bed with her mother, and even then she expressed fear. Another student, she said told her father, when it is time for her to attend high school, she needs him to take her," the teacher said.
Stefica went missing on Saturday. Her body was found on Monday in the Four Paths area with her throat slashed.
Kimberly Wright, one of Stefica's classmates, said she has not been able to revise her book for her exams without seeing an image of Stefica in front of her.
She said that it is a struggle to concentrate.
"I don't feel safe, I feel so scared," she said.
Stefica would have sat Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) English language examination yesterday. She came from England four years ago and started school at May Pen. She was unable to sit her CSECs last year due to illness. She left the island for a while, but came back for the September term. This would have been her last year at May Pen High and she was determined to do her eight CSEC examinations.
Angeli Maragh, president of the student council, said her friends are still in shock about Smith's death.
"My head is really not here," the shaken student, who was moments away from sitting her exam, said.
"We are still shocked and it's really hard to cope. We are hoping that God will help us to go into the exam and do our best."
Smith's impact went beyond the classroom, as she also impressed the tuck shop manager, who described her as a "cultured and proper girl".
"You know some girls, the boys would come and touch them, not Stefica. She would rebuke them, and then you could hear her muttering under her breath, 'Bright and out of order'."