Regional

Lucea Primary awards excellence, long service

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, September 28, 2017

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ESHER, Hanover — The Lucea Primary School in Hanover, one of the oldest and preferred educational institutions, recently held its first staff appreciation and long service awards function for over 25 academic and ancillary staff members.

Employees were awarded in the categories of dedicated service to differentiated learners, extra-curricular activities, committed and dedicated service, and long and dedicated service to the teaching profession for 15 years and over.

Among those awarded during the function held at the Global Villa in Hanover were: Stephney Reid, principal — 40 years as a teacher; Jacqueline Jarrett — 29 years of teaching; Sandra Grant — 28 years of teaching; Yasmin Anderson-Jackson, vice-principal — 23 years as a teacher; and Michelle Edwards — 23 years as a teacher.

Reid was appointed principal in 2016 after acting in the post since 2012.

Reid, who goes off on retirement in a few months, told the Jamaica Observer West that her journey at the institution had “its ups and downs”.

“I will not say it was smooth. Life is made up of obstacles, but what we will have to know is that, if we fall, we cannot just stay down. We have to learn to get up and continue on the path to success. So with success, there are failures, but you will have to know how to go through with them each time,” she said.

“So, as a teacher, I would want to recommend that for all persons who are aspiring to be principal, first thing they have to think about is their dedication, their compassion and their devotion.”

Coordinator of the function and school board staff representative, Ingrid McKenzie, pointed out that because the school is located in a very challenging community, teachers have to work under adverse conditions.

McKenzie said she was asked by school board chairman Sheridon Samuels, who is also the mayor of Lucea, to sit on a panel to assess teachers.

She said her “heart melted” as she observed the challenges faced by a teacher at the school who has a group of differentiated learners (children with learning challenges).

“I am sure all of us as teachers can share that experience that it is not an easy task to stand up to that challenge of really taking those students going beyond the call of duty to ensure that the needs of these students are taken care of,” she emphasised.

She added that through prayer, the idea came to her to host the appreciation function, which she hopes will motivate, encourage and will empower individuals.

Parent Teachers' Association President Orlando Anderson had nothing but praise for the staff and thanked the teachers for their service. He also recognised the ancillary staff whom he said, are most times forgotten.

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