Region Six honours students and teachers
Shanique Samuels, Gleaner Writer
Ten persons, including four outstanding needy GSAT students from the parishes of Clarendon and St Catherine, were honoured at the Ministry of Educations 8th Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony for Region 6, recently.
The beaming GSAT awardees and their parents were presented with cheque donations totalling $60,000 to assist them with their school expenses.
In the adult category, the awardees were presented with personalised plaques and certificates, after a brief and delightful summary of their individual achievements by Kerinth Campbell, a member of the Friends Awards Committee. The awardees, decked in their finery, beamed with pleasure throughout the nights event and expressed much pleasure at being recognised in this manner.
The formal event was held inside the Vere Technical High School Auditorium, which was transformed into an exquisite dining hall. The elegant dÃ©cor and the excellent hospitality were staged by principal Dr Henritta Stewart, staff, and students of Vere Technical High School, and members of the David Brown-led committee of Friends of the Old Harbour Regional Office.
The Principal of the Year award went to Huit Johnson, principal of Tulloch Primary and immediate past principal of St Johns Primary.
"The only justification for looking down on anyone is to pick him up, and thats exactly what we have been doing. It is said that hard work pays and it is also true that it pays to do hard work. In our case, we were not all thinking of any reward. We were just working, working, working," said Johnson in his acceptance speech.
This years theme: Begin With the End in Mind: Maintain Your Focus, was timely, and the message was well delivered by the powerful guest speaker, Sergeant Coleridge Minto, director of the Safe Schools Programme within the Ministry of Education. He told the audience, "Success comes from going from failure to failure without losing motivation".
He also borrowed a few words from the popular gospel group, Mary, Marys I just cant give up now to motivate the packed hall of educators, friends and well wishers. He told them: "There will be mountains that you will have to climb, and there will be battles that you will have to fight, but victory or defeat, its up to you to decide, but how can you expect to win if you never try."
Sergeant Minto continued with his powerful speech by encouraging his audience not to let go, because educators are the backbones of the Jamaican society and an important part of the change that needs to take place. He ended with roaring applause from the audience.
The audience was serenaded with great entertainment as the boys from Aenon Town All-Age School did well. Mrs Suzan Edward-Reid of St Catherine High did the dance, Baby Jesus, which resonated with the audience. Lisa-Lee Barnett wowed the audience with her astounding rendition of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World.
Sarai-Lee Moodie, Digicel Rising Star 2014 third-place winner, brought the house down with her numbers that she belted out effortlessly. The evening of excellence was brought to a close by Prince Carty & Company, who gave a moving performance of Wind Beneath my Wings, a tribute to the late principal of Cumberland High School and the late secretary of Friends, Dahlia Black.
This years event was held under the distinguished patronage of the Custos Rotulorum of Clarendon, Honourable William Shagoury, who was ably represented by Stanton Knott, justice of the peace for Clarendon.