St Mary principal celebrates pupils' scholarships, PM's award
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
A St Mary-based primary school headmaster is enjoying a double celebration after he was honoured by the prime minister for making an outstanding contribution to the public-education system, and three of his grade-six students secured scholarships worth more than $100,000.
Morris Edwards, principal of Water Valley Primary School in Islington, stood proudly and watched as Alexeia Clue, Ian Morris and Xao Haughton collected cheques totalling $110,000 to assist with their schooling.
According to the headmaster, who received the Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education just two weeks earlier, the scholarships will inspire and motivate the students as they prepare to enter high school in September.
Edwards told Rural Xpress: "Last Thursday (2 July), we had a presentation of scholarships for some of our students who have excelled. While Haughton accepted a scholarship of $10,000 from the alumni association, the other two received $50,000 each from the family of Monica Reynolds.
"Miss Reynolds was a health-care worker who lived just a few metres from the school, served on the parent-teacher association board, and really looked out for the interests of parents who were in need and made sure their children came to school.
"She passed away around four years ago, but her legacy is important because she was so heavily involved in the school and community, and was the type of person we could always call upon for assistance whenever we had fundraising activities."
Edwards, who has taught in Islington for the last four decades and served as principal at Water Valley for more than 20 years, noted that Clue and Morris had shown exceptional academic aptitude throughout the previous 12 months.
He explained: "At the beginning of the year, the students were told about the inaugural Miss Reynolds scholarship and asked to apply.
"Clue and Morris were our top male and female students in the Grade Six Achievement Test and, based on their performance, they will be attending St Mary High School and have been rewarded with these contributions.
"I think the scholarships will make a tremendous difference to these students and their education because they were in need. So their parents really appreciate this gesture which will provide a great boost for the children as they start their first year at high school."
Over the past seven years, Edwards has engaged with a wide variety of organisations, including the Canadian High Commission, the American-Caribbean Experience and the local branch of the Kiwanis Club, to help renovate the school and develop literacy, enterprise and health-care programmes for his students.