Wed | Sep 23, 2020

We’ve grown up: Yearlong celebrations as Iona High School marks 70 years

Published:Thursday | January 31, 2019 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Melva Humes-Johnson, principal, Iona High School, St Mary.


A parenting conference on Monday saw several parents and guardians turning out at the Iona High School in Tower Isle, St Mary amid a year of celebrations to mark the institution’s 70 years in existence.

Principal, Melva Humes-Johnson, who has spent 10 of her 19 years at Iona High as principal, hailed the institution, saying it has evolved over the years, even while sticking to its original focus of being a nurturing environment and helping the less fortunate achieve an education.

“We are working towards quite a few things to highlight the fact that we are happy to be 70. We’ve grown up,” Humes-Johnson told The Gleaner.

“The school realises the importance of recognising 70. Seventy, according to biblical fact, is a very, very important feat because the word of God says that 70 is really the life of human beings and if by reason of strength, more; and we know that reason of strength will take us further.

The principal said going forward, Iona will continue to build on the solid foundation created by the founders, Rev. Dr Herbert Swaby and his wife Gwendolyn.

“I have seen the school evolve, we have built on the foundation laid by others because as the word of God says, you have to dig deep and make sure you’re building on solid foundation. So I recognised, as a principal, there was a solid foundation and that all I needed to do was help to put the blocks up to carry on this great tradition.”

“Going forward, we settle down to continue to build on the legacy. Our mission is to provide a dynamic environment for our students to excel and to produce rounded graduates, built on our core values which are productivity, respect, self-discipline, excellence, collaboration, integrity, and honesty.”

Humes-Johnson is calling on teachers, students and parents to continue to support Iona, while acknowledging that even with limited resources teachers have been showing a high level of commitment. She argued that with more resources, the teachers would perform even better.

Meanwhile, Humes-Johnson is also calling on the students to show a little more tenacity and focus more on their school work.