Braeton Primary mourns death of third grade teacher
Desrene Steer

ST CATHERINE, Jamaica – The Braeton Primary and Infant school community has been plunged into mourning following the passing of a beloved third grade teacher.

Desrene Steer, 48, died suddenly on Friday evening at hospital sending shockwaves throughout the school community.

"She did not report that she wasn't well at school, neither did she show any signs of not feeling well. She taught her class throughout the day on Thursday so it was a big shock when we heard she had passed," Karlene Robinson Allen, principal of Braeton Primary and Infant school, said.

Steer was said to have been a dedicated educator at the institution for over 10 years.

"The Ministry of Education trauma unit came and we had principals, guidance counselors and members of the school chapel who came to administer grief counseling to the teachers," Robinson Allen disclosed.

The school has a population of over 300 students.

"She woke up and reported that she wasn't feeling well to her family. She suffers from hypertension, and by the time she got to the hospital, she was pronounced dead," the principal said.

"She was such a caring and vibrant teacher, only God can come and explain to us why, or what actually happened."

With the start of the school year, teachers have been facing increasing pressures.

Steer is among at least three teachers who died suddenly over the weekend. Petersfield High School in Westmoreland was plunged into mourning following the passing of its modern languages teacher, Charmaine James, while St Jago High school is also in mourning following the death of Deidre Campbell, a history and sociology teacher at the St Catherine school.

READ: Principal distraught at sudden passing of veteran teacher

"We are back face to face (in person learning), and we are trying to bridge the learning gap, and trying to get our students up to par, and see how much we can add value. With COVID, many of my students weren't online because they had no access to a device or no connectivity, and the issue challenges continue," Robinson Allen said.

"We have been doing diagnostic assessments to see where they are in terms of reading, and assessing their competency level in reading and Mathematics so we can chart the way forward with intervention for these kids."

– Claude Mills

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