Wed | Apr 24, 2019

Mission accomplished, says outgoing Tivoli principal

Published:Tuesday | June 26, 2018 | 12:45 AM
Retiring principal Tivoli Gardens High School Aldrick Durant (right) is greeted by staff members from left: Marvin Johnson, acting principal; Sharon Blackwood and Jennifer Williams, teachers at a ceremony to honour the retiring principal for his long and committed service to the institution on Industrial Terrace in Kingston yesterday.

“I came, I saw and I conquered,” were the words spoken yesterday by outgoing principal of Tivoli Gardens High School, Aldrick Durant, four years after being recruited to ‘restore’ the West Kingston-based institution.

During a devotional exercise on the school grounds to mark his send off, Durant confidently recounted the advances that were made under his short, but successful tenure.

“Four years after, I can stand here and say to all of you, mission accomplished,” he said.

“Like Paul [the apostle], I have fought a good fight and now I have come to the end of my race and I can go feeling happy,” said Durant.

 “[It] is not just the physical structure [that] has been restored, but the school is on an academic path…Very soon the nation will be hearing about the academic achievement of the school,” he added.

School guidance counsellor Denise Brown-Edwards also praised Durant for his success.

 “He was also creative in terms of getting the school to look good. We had a few new developments such as the green house, as well as Digicel assisted us with a new sitting area for students. So, he worked really hard in raising the appearance of the school,” said Brown-Edwards, adding that he would be missed by staffers, students,  parents and other stakeholders. 

“I know that my mother is going to miss him a lot even though she doesn’t work here, because she was impressed by how good the school looked,” she commented.

Another staff member, Dean of Discipline Carmen Josephs, also spoke highly of the retiring principal, explaining that his door was never closed and he was always active.

“He is a forward thinking man and goal driven; he sets his target and he ensures that they are achievable, he’s very up with safety and security and he is very accommodating.

He’s the type of principal that will not sit in his office. He moves around so he’s at the canteen, he’s dealing with disciplinary matters, he’s dealing with administrative matters, he’s dealing with matters on the ground floor and he networks very well with the community” Josephs related.

She also said that the school had improved during Durant’s tenure including the infrastructure and teachers’ improved qualification

“He has just been very wonderful and I think the school has just grown tremendously during his short period here and we will miss him a lot. What we will miss the most is the relationship built, he’s a relationship builder,” added Josephs.

Durant is to be replaced by current vice-principal, Marvin Johnson. Johnson told The Gleaner that he would see to it that school rules were followed according to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education. He expressed optimism that the institution would become a school of choice.

-Sasha-Kaye Kemble