Saluting Outstanding Teachers
Dahlia Brown-Dawson: Committed to success
Dahlia Brown-DAWSON is kept busy at Holmwood High and its environs. Some of her many roles include being the head of the business department and e-learning coordinator at Holmwood; vice-chair of the Lowe River Primary and Junior High School; and a certified information communications technology trainer.
Having been in the teaching profession from the age of 17, she has been making significant contributions to the field of education. This has resulted in her earning several awards, including being awarded the Ministry of Education's Teacher of Excellence Award for Region Five in 2009 and the Teacher of the Year Award for Technical High Schools in 2004, 2007, and 2009. She attributes this success to unique methods and approaches to teaching.
"My classroom practices go beyond the physical classroom walls. I never leave a student behind and I always have a strategy to build the slow ones. I am very stern, yet easy to talk to. I use creative means to get my students to excel," said Brown-Dawson.
She also has a strong interest in entrepreneurship and said that being given the opportunity to lead students in their Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) programme allows her to provide students with well-needed insight into building robust businesses.
"I love being an entrepreneur. As a result, I wanted to teach my students to become entrepreneurs as well. I found this [JACE] very rewarding as a lot of students have emerged as entrepreneurs as a result of this practice over the years," she said.
Brown-Dawson attributes her inspiration to her students' success and envisions a future where the nation's youths are better equipped to identify opportunities for national development and can actively overcome challenges to pursue their dreams.
Annakay Harvey: Promoting social responsibility
Annakay Harvey's entry into teaching was not by chance as she knew she wanted to enter the profession while she was a grade 10 student at Manchester High.
With this conviction, she pursued a Bachelor's of Science in Secondary Education and Business Administration at Northern Caribbean University after completing her secondary studies.
With less than two years in the classroom, Harvey is already making a remarkable impact on the students at Rusea's High, where she teaches principles of business, economics, information technology, entrepreneurship, micro and macro economics, and accounting.
"My most rewarding experience thus far was having students attributing their successes in CXC/CAPE examinations last year to my instruction," she said. "I do my best to help my students attain success by hosting extra-classes on weekends and helping them through past paper questions for the various external examinations."
Harvey praises her students, indicating that they are "focused". She said that this commitment inspired her to take on the challenge of taking them through the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) programme. She believes the programme has contributed to improving their knowledge of business operations and has helped to prepare them for the world of work.
"They developed good time-management skills and good customer relations skills along with setting goals and working towards achieving them," she said.
Harvey noted that the Corporate Social Responsibility Project, which forms part of the JACE programme, is her favourite because it coincides with her mandate to give back to communities and citizens that helped raise her.
"I am in the process of organising a literacy and numeracy programme for children within the urban market areas, where children accompany their parents or grandparents to sell in the market or on the street for an income. I want to offer them the opportunity to learn basic numeracy and literacy and technological skills, with my current students providing voluntary assistance or community service that will help to develop them not only academically, but socially."
Shanaire Edwards: A teacher and an entrepreneur
Shanaire Edwards has a passion for business and a love for teaching. She now enjoys the best of both worlds as she has been a teacher of the business subjects principles of accounts, principles of business, information technology, and electronic document preparation and management at her alma mater, Herbert Morrison Technical, since 2013.
"During my time as a student at Herbert Morrison Technical, my teacher, who is also my role model, asked me to assist with teaching a few classes by preparing notes and writing lessons on chalkboards," she noted. "It was this experience that gave birth to my passion for teaching, and as a result, I enrolled in Bethlehem Moravian College, where I completed a diploma in business and computer studies."
Edwards has taken a further step, namely, to advance business development among youth by leading her students in their practical entrepreneurial experience in the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) programme.
Edwards, who also owns and operates her own restaurant, said that delivering the JACE programme is an active way for her to better equip students with the required skills and knowledge they need to survive the current state of the economy in Jamaica and globally.
"The programme helped the students unearth their skills and talents and widened their scope on plans for their future," she said. "My favourite aspect of the JACE programme is the practicality of it, where students actually do their investments and see where a profit or loss is being made."
Edwards' vision for Jamaica's youth is for them to remain success-driven and focused on achieving their goals.