Sun | Sep 20, 2020

Former Manchester spelling bee coach dies

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Spelling bee coach, Primrose Swaby, at a luncheon at The Gleaner's North Street offices – File photo

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner writer

The Mandeville Primary School community is in shock following the death of retired teacher and Spelling Bee coach extraordinaire Primrose Swaby.

Swaby, who reportedly died in her sleep, is described as a rock-solid educator who spent more than 20 years in the education system, moulding hundreds of young minds.

Vice-Principal of Academics at the institution, Garth Dixon, says Swaby was a true ambassador.

"She was a very renowned teacher and was integrally involved in the operations of the school. She was well loved and did very well as Spelling Bee coach; really a tremendous asset to the school ... . She was always so very jovial and would brighten up any room that she went into.

"They [teachers] are extremely saddened by her untimely passing. It is really sad. When I heard what happened I was just so very shocked. I spoke to her about a month and a half ago while she was overseas, because she wanted to know about school reopening, and then to hear this this morning..."

He said Swaby’s mark would not be forgotten.

"She has touched many lives, and I know people will continue to share their memory of her. A lot of teachers come and go, but Ms Swaby is one of those teachers who everybody knows, even new teachers would have heard about her. Her presence brought us much joy," Dixon said.

Swaby, who in 1972 won the title of Manchester Parish Spelling Bee champion, years later enjoyed the title of Champion Spelling Bee Coach for consecutive years.

Not only was Swaby a woman of great intellect who worked hard for her students to maintain academic excellence, but she did so with grace, compassion, and is always fashionably dressed.

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