Wed | Apr 26, 2017

Principal hopes to inspire Stony Hill students

Published:Thursday | May 7, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Harvey Brown, principal of Stony Hill Infant, Junior and Primary School, sees himself as a father figure to the students attending the school, like Daniel Stewart (seated).

Principal Harvey Brown believes living by example and inspiring others are central to changing lives.

A teacher for the last 18 years, Brown has been the principal of the Stony Hill Infant, Primary and Junior High School since May 2014. Seeing himself as a father figure to the 860 students attending, Brown uses his personal experiences to motivate the students of his academically low-performing school.

"Education is a great inspirator. The best way to reach the masses is through teaching," he said.

With this in mind, Brown earned a bachelor's degree in education and administration from the University of the West Indies and a master's in education and leadership from the Central Connecticut State University. He describes his educational journey as the roughest period in his life, but says he persevered nonetheless because of his drive to succeed.

In speaking about the potential of Stony Hill Infant, Primary and Junior High School, he said, "This is a school that has very severe learning challenges. I don't think many people realise the variety of children we cater to, from infant to primary, secondary, special education - a diverse community," Brown said. "These are people's children that are seen as outcasts, but every day in them I see my future successor, I see another prime minister or governor general."

In his short tenure at Stony Hill, he has renovated the school's canteen, created a dining area and will be spearheading the school's new enrichment centre provided by the Digicel Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Education and USAID to boost reading performance.

The school currently has a literacy rate of 55 per cent and a numeracy rate of 32 per cent, which the principal hopes to increase to 70 per cent and 61 per cent respectively with the assistance of the Enrichment Centre.

Come September, Brown will be making his boldest move at the school yet by removing the shift system. "By doing this, I know in five years we will become a school that is excellent. Within that time I want to introduce skills training in our curriculum; I think the time is right," he added.