40-year education veteran honoured
Anthony Foster, Gleaner Writer
Yvonne Kong, who retired after 40 years of service to education, was last week honoured by G.C. Foster College of Physical Education.
Kong, who was last year conferred with the order of distinction for her service to education, served G.C. Foster College as principal for five years, ending in 2009.
However, during her 40-year career, she taught at all levels, from primary to tertiary.
Born in Linstead, St Catherine, Kong was educated at White Marl Primary School, before moving on to St Catherine High. She then earned a teacher's certificate from Mico Teachers' College, and a bachelors in education from the University of the West Indies.
Kong received a masters in education and leadership administration at the University of Zulia in Venezuela.
During her time at G.C. Foster as principal, Kong was instrumental in developing a masters degree in physical education (PE).
It was behind these accomplishments that the school honoured her.
In the citation prepared and read by Leodis Douglas, human resources director at G.C. Foster College, Kong's contribution was summed up perfectly.
"Rare as gems are the people who touch our lives: the ones who make living a pleasure:
This quotation so aptly describes you, Mrs Kong. You have touched the lives of many individuals who are here this evening to share in this memorable occasion. Through your speeches, talks and sharing at various functions, you have impacted thousands," she said.
"In honouring you this evening, we join the many persons who, because of you, are now teachers in various disciplines: physical education, mathematics, history to name a few. We join them in saying that your hard work and commitment have made a difference in the lives of our people.
We celebrate your achievements so that others may emulate your example," she said.
Silvero Castro, chairman of the school's board; David Mais, chairman of the Sports Development Foundation, who was guest speaker, and student council president, William Morgan also spoke highly about Kong's contribution to the nation's education system.
"You are excellent in every way," was Morgan's description of Kong.
In her response, Kong, who served on various sports committees namely: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation's intergovernmental committee on PE and sport; CARICOM's committee of PE curriculum for Caribbean States, and the Institute of Sports, thanked the college for recognising her contribution.
Kong's contribution to community service also extends to the Jamaica Netball Association, Young Women's Christian Association, Jamaica Red Cross, Jamaica Olympic Association and the Jamaica Women in Sport Society.