I've never felt like not going to work - Top principal
Her decision to switch from computer programming to teaching meant that her salary would be significantly less. Margaret Campbell was however convinced that she was born to be in the classroom and is today committed to transforming the lives of the young men at St George's College in Kingston.
That's the story she shared after taking home the LASCO/Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Principal of the Year Award at the annual Principal and Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony, which was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Monday.
"I was a computer programmer, believe it or not, but then my teaching career started at Ardenne (High School) and I found my love. I love to teach, I love to facilitate excellent teaching and learning, so I am where I am supposed to be," she said.
"Throughout my computing career, even though I was good at the programming part, the only aspect I really enjoyed was the user training, when I was teaching the people. So a light bulb went off, and I decided that it could be that teaching is a calling. You know how some people can't bear to go to work, I have not had that in the how many years I've switched to teaching," she continued.
Becoming the first female principal at the then all-boys institution in 2006 and being a math teacher for many years, Campbell said she has first-hand knowledge of the importance of establishing sustained programmes to improve both areas.
As such, she disclosed that her focus will be on math education, educating boys, in addition to improving the state of well-being of the disabled.
"My niece is profoundly deaf, and we don't pay attention to their achievements. If we provide additional resources, the deaf community can excel in academics," she said.
Amorkard Brown, a teacher at Munro College in St Elizabeth who was awarded Teacher of the Year, was similarly enthused about using his platform to improve the lives of students and the environment.
"As Teacher of the Year, I will be implementing 'Jamaica Teach', which is a programme designed to support beginning teachers specifically, and to provide mentorship for those who are practising."
He also noted that there will be programmes to assist science students.