Tue | Oct 16, 2018

'I have the power to motivate you' - Hayle tells St Andrew North West constituents

Published:Tuesday | February 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/ Senior Staff Reporter
People’s National Party’s Keisha Hayle, principal of Padmore Primary, with some of her students at the school yesterday.

More than a year ago when a man of the cloth told Keisha Hayle that she would set her sights on a new leadership role, she did not have representational politics on her mind at that time.

"I see you leading the people; you are a Moses. The heart that you have, that is what will carry you," Hayle recounted the words of the preacher while she attended a church service.

When The Gleaner visited Hayle at Padmore Primary School in Red Hills, St Andrew, yesterday, the much-admired principal said she was no miracle worker. "I don't have the power to touch you and heal you, but I have the power to motivate you for a better living, for your children to have a better life."

Asked about her early plans to contest the March 5 by-election in St Andrew North West, Hayle said that as an educator, she was accustomed to giving homework to students. Now, she said, it's her time to "take homework from the people. I have gone into all the divisions and I see the need".

She described her entry into representational politics as another rung on the ladder to impact the lives of Jamaicans. "Keisha has changed a school. A school is a miniature community, so it's just a next rung on the ladder to change St Andrew North West.

"I am seeking a higher service, and my mantra is, 'Those who know the way must show the way and go the way,'" she said.

Hayle contends that for too long politicians have been seen as the people's bosses, noting that these parliamentary representatives are supposed to be "public servants - serving the people".

The principal, who has transformed Padmore Primary into an institution that is now achieving a 100 per cent literacy rate, said she wants to be the people's servant. "It's about service; it's not a personal agenda," she added.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com