Veteran educator Jasper Brown receives PM's Medal of Appreciation
BROWN...encourages the next generation of teachers to be sincere, diligent and committed to the task of imparting knowledge to their students,

TEACHER/FACILITATOR at the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Service Training Agency (HEART/NSTA) Trust Jasper Brown has received the Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education (PMMA) acknowledging his 47 years in the teaching profession.

"The Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation Award really means a lot to me. It goes to show that even on a national level, your contributions to education are not going unnoticed. It has also allowed individuals from various communities to show their level of recognition, to join in the congratulations, and to see you as a more valuable individual in the society," Brown tells JIS News.

He said he has been an educator since 1975, noting that for the first two years he taught visual arts and science at Green Island High School as a National Youth Service employee.

Brown adds that he received the inspiration to become a teacher while at the school, and in the second year of employment he pursued a trained teacher diploma at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College from 1976 to 1979.

Since his journey into teaching began, he has served as an educator in numerous capacities at Flanker Primary and Junior High School in Montego Bay, St. James.

"I served as a classroom teacher from 1979 to 2005. I also served as vice-principal from 2005 to 2012, and as acting principal from 2012 to 2014. At some time during this entire period I served as chairman of numerous committees, including music, sports, worship, students' council, decoration, and culture," Brown shared.

Over the 47 years that Brown has been an educator, he taught subjects such as mathematics, English language, music, speech and drama, visual arts, and Spanish.

"I have taught and still teach Mathematics, human and social biology, and social studies at the CSEC level at the HEART High School Diploma Equivalency (HEART/HSDE) programme, and many students have gained excellent results," said Brown, who is now a facilitator at the HEART/NSTA Trust.

The educator tells JIS News that one of his proudest moments is seeing his students "move from the bottom of their educational pursuits to becoming certified, qualified and competent individuals making positive and meaningful contributions to themselves and to the society".

Coupled with that, Brown says that he takes pleasure in serving as a source of motivation and inspiration for both current and former students who had given up all hope of achieving anything of value in society.

Receiving the PMMA is proof that he has impacted the lives of many, even beyond the classroom.

Outside the classroom, Brown contributes to various programmes of the church. He is a talented visual artist, musician, singer, decorator, and a natural-born dramatist.

"With this multitalented ability I try to contribute my services as much as possible. I am a trained Master Guide; I am trained and competent in areas such as hiking, fire-building, knots, decorating, art and craft, sewing, camping and camp craft, and drill and march," he adds.

Brown was commissioned as a justice of the peace in 2010. In 2018 he was presented with the Golden Touch Award by the Jamaica Teachers' Association.

In May of this year he received the HEART/NSTA Trust Instructor Service Excellence Award. He also received numerous awards for long service and outstanding contributions during his tenure at Flanker Primary and Junior High School.

He pointed out that in addition to the awards received from Flanker Primary and Junior High School, "I was the first teacher to have taught Spanish at the school".

Brown shared that he also trained people as well as entered festival pieces in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) competition in speech, drama and music.

He is encouraging the next generation of teachers to be sincere, diligent and committed to the task of imparting knowledge to their students, to show respect at all levels, and "never cease to assure students that they can achieve if they commit themselves to the tasks ahead".

Brown said, too, that aspiring educators should know and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student.

They should not only be a teacher but a counsellor to each one every step of the way. And they should be mindful that their students are coming from various home environments with different cultures and so they should exercise patience, tolerance and understanding.

"They should also ensure that their students are experiencing a sense of accomplishment on a daily basis, that they are learning and not wasting time, and that school is providing meaningful change for them," he added.

Brown is one of 80 educators who received the Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education recently.

– JIS

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