Keisha Hayle: Eyes set on bigger things for school
Now that attention has been drawn to the success of Padmore Primary School, located in Red Hills in rural St Andrew, its principal, Keisha Hayle, has her eyes set on bigger things for the school she has battled to keep open.
For one, Hayle hopes that a new block can be built to accommodate the ballooning number of students now finding their way into the classrooms there.
"I need a new block of classrooms that I could turn into library, staff room ... I don't have any of that."
The school population has grown from 38 to 250 in a year.
When all appeared to have given up on Padmore Primary, the principal of the struggling institution did not. And when there was a move afoot to close down the school, Hayle would have none of it.
"I have always believed that the leadership of the school, including the board, could work together to ensure that it is a success, as it is the only school in the area," she said.
Hayle disclosed that she did field research and found that some of the parents would not be able to send their children to other schools if Padmore had closed its doors.
"They just don't have the financial backing to do that," she said.
"Most of the kids can just walk to school now and get something to eat from the school," she added. "Many of the parents are not working; some are subsistence farmers."
Noting that receiving the Gleaner Honour Award special award in the field of education filled her with pride, Hayle stressed that she was never working with such recognition in mind.
She said she was simply working to keep the school open because "I don't believe that the school should be closed".