JC PTA positively influencing the nation's young men
COLLIN GREENLAND: President
Now in his fourth year as president of the Jamaica College Parent Teacher Association, Collin Greenland is determined to be a change agent in the lives of the young men at his alma mater. For him, giving back to not only the boys, but the school is a way to continue the rich tradition set by JC's predecessors.
"By serving, we hope that our boys will replicate the achievements of old boys such as Norman Manley, Michael Manley, Carlton Alexander, Hon. Dr. Karl Hendrickson, Professor Gladstone E. Mills, Mayer Matalon, Hon. Dr. Raby 'Danny' Williams, Monty Alexander, James 'Jimmy' Adams, just to name a few," said Greenland.
Driven by the conviction that he should be a father to not only his 16-year-old son Collin Jr, but all the boys of the noble institution, he shared that positive male role models must be a part of the growth at the all-boys institution, whether or not the boys have a biological father in their lives.
"We live in a society that unfortunately provides our boys with so many other exciting and tempting negative male examples that can not only distract them from achieving good all-round growth and development, but steer them in the wrong paths," he stated.
Greenland implored fathers to become active in their children's schools, noting that it made an enormous difference to the students, teachers and overall school community. He said responsible fatherhood is crucial to building a disciplined, civilised and productive society, and fathers playing active roles in PTAs would only serve to set the kind of example in service that boys need to emulate.
"Plus, teachers and the school community appreciate the irreplaceable presence of father figures in their humongous challenge of nurturing boys," added Greenland, whose student days at JC were quite active with Manning Cup, cricket, basketball, swimming, hurdling, and pole vaulting.
"Helping to make our boys into well-rounded young men is a difficult, challenging and never-ending task, but one that we must pursue in order to assist in the awesome mission of nation building. I not only consider it my duty and obligation, but I get a deep sense of satisfaction, pride and love from undertaking this task."
Living by the philosophy 'Pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on you', the forensic accountant added, "If we play our part as fathers and parents, we will not only launch our nation's education towards greater heights of excellence, but also contribute to nation building in a way previously unseen in this great piece of rock on God's earth."
FATHERING THE BOYS OF JAMAICA COLLEGE
Jamaica College PTA positively influencing the nation's young men
As Jamaica observes National Parent Month, as part of the Ministry of Education's policy to support and promote effective parenting, the Jamaica College (JC) Parent Teacher Association (PTA) stands as a commanding force in nurturing the nation's young men into productive citizens of society.
Providing the opportunity for parents and teachers to plan, report and interact on activities related to the interest of the school and the students, the PTA is involved in all aspects of school life. It contributes extensively to school activities, assists in physical improvements through projects, contributes significantly to the welfare programme that provides financial support to students, provides mentorship, assists in study sessions, and supports the young men's exploits in sports. The PTA also spearheads the Parent Representatives, where parents volunteer to serve as a liaison between the parents and teachers of each class.
With a strong belief that fathers play a critical role in the development of young men, over the years, several JC old boys have stepped up to the plate to play their part on the PTA. This year, four old boys head the executive body: Collin Greenland, president; Christopher Rimann, first vice-president; Leon Fraser, second vice-president; and Hugh Rose, treasurer.
The other members of the executive are: Granville Taylor, assistant treasurer; Keron Mais, secretary; Paulette Lyons-Dodd, assistant secretary, and Deborah Walcott, school representative.
With its vibrant, impressive association and with more than a thousand attending PTA meetings regularly that often host powerful guest speakers, JC's PTA has been credited over the past two years by both the Ministry of Education and the National Parent Teachers Association of Jamaica as having one of the largest meetings in the country.
Collin Greenland, President, Jamaica College Parent Teacher Association. - Gladstone Taylor / Photographer
Jamaica College Parent-Teacher Association executive (from left): Leon Fraser (second vice-president), Hugh Rose (treasurer), Christopher Rimann (first vice-president) and Collin Greenland (president). - photos by Gladstone Taylor/Photographer
the boys of
Collin Greenland, President, Jamaica College Parent Teacher Association - Gladstone Taylor / Photographer
CHRISTOPHER RIMANN: First Vice-President
Christopher Rimann takes his roles as first vice-president of the Jamaica College Parent Teacher Association and head of the Parent Representative body quite seriously, priding himself on helping to nurture productive gentlemen of society.
"A lot of PTAs in Jamaica are headed by females. While fathers are seen as traditional breadwinners of the family institution, they tend to leave the educational responsibilities to the mother figure of the household and this generally translates to more mothers in the PTA executive than fathers," noted Rimann.
"However, I am proud to state that this current PTA executive at Jamaica College is headed by a father, and the two vice-presidents and two treasurers are fathers as well. The fact that these fathers were duly elected to their respective posts is evidence of the contribution of these gentlemen in their sons' lives at a males-only school. I think it is very important to the young gentlemen of Jamaica College to see fathers in such critical roles."
The JC old boy said it was a labour of love to give back to his high school and to play his role in ensuring that JC remains the school of champions.
"The daily and weekly interactions with fellow parents and the school administration at Jamaica College have allowed me to be a positive role model for parents and students alike in my son's form," he said.
His son, 13-year-old Gianni, plays in the under-14 Pepsi soccer competition and represents JC on the high-school swim-meet circuit. He also qualified as a member of the Honours Society.
"The institution of fatherhood has been bashed for a very long time in Jamaica. Our pre-adolescents and teenagers need to be moulded with regards to the responsibilities of a productive member of society," Rimann believes.
"They have to see positive values and attitudes on a minutely, daily basis. Fathers who are positive role models need to immerse themselves in all aspects of their children's education. We have to drastically improve male volunteerism in Jamaica and provide easy access to educational material."
The father of three added, "social skills are also very important to prepare our gentlemen of Jamaica College for the working world. Even though academic qualifications are very important, being able to function effectively as a member of society is equally important. Imparting values and attitudes is essential in producing well-rounded men for the 21st century."
Gladstone Taylor / PhotographerChristopher Rimann, First Vice President, Jamaica College Parent Teacher Association
LEON FRASER: Second Vice-President
Ensuring that the young men of Jamaica College become productive citizens is an even greater passion than Leon Fraser's undying love for sports.
"Our boys lack positive role models in the home and the wider Jamaican society. While I was a student at this great school, I benefited from very strong role models who thought it their duty to give back to the institution that was primarily responsible for shaping their lives. I feel the same sense of duty to the students," said the second vice-president of Jamaica College Parent Teacher Association.
He said positive father figures were critical to the future of Jamaica, with a need for men to inculcate strong values in boys such as self-esteem, discipline, love and respect for others, love of country, honesty and industriousness.
"Just take a quick look at the crime statistics in our country and you will immediately realise that a lot of the crimes are being committed by young men, many of them teenagers. It is a major concern of mine and, I believe, every well-thinking Jamaican. The serious crime problem in the country is a catalyst for my helping to guide our boys at JC along a path that will, hopefully, result in them becoming productive citizens of the country."
He noted that to steer the young men on the right path required the collective efforts of everyone, including school officials, parents, alumni community, and other stakeholder groups.
"For an all-boys school, active and involved fathers play a crucial role in achieving this objective," Fraser added.
Fraser's son, Akim, is a former national Under-17 cricket representative and the current captain of the school's senior cricket team that won the A-League Cricket Competition in the 2012/2013 school year.
"JC has a very rich history and has produced leaders in every sphere of the society. Collectively, what we are doing as old boys is simply to return JC to the place of excellence it once occupied years ago … and to keep it there as the number-one institution for secondary education in the country. We want JC to be the place of choice for parents seeking a high-school education for their boys," stated the married father of two.
HUGH ROSE: Treasurer
For Hugh Rose, it was only natural that he got actively involved in his alma mater, Jamaica College, crediting the noble institution for moulding him into the man he has become.
The treasurer of the school's Parent Teacher Association is now giving back from what he has, determined to be a role model for the boys of JC.
"I strongly believe it is important for the young men at JC to develop into well-rounded individuals because to survive and achieve in today's society, one needs to be able to manoeuvre different aspects of life. Academics is important, but so are social skills, leadership qualities, volunteerism, and sports," said Rose, a father of four, with two sons at JC.
"During my years at JC, it was one of the top schools in Jamaica and I am honoured to be playing a part in returning JC to its former glory. I see my role as helping to contribute to the legacy of JC by inspiring current students to strive to become leaders in their own right. JC has produced a national hero, prime ministers, and numerous leaders in government and business, and to get other students to aspire to be like these gentlemen is a feeling I cannot find words to explain."
Strongly believing all parents should assist their children's schools' PTA, Rose said, "The PTA must be a team effort, involving both parents. Like many other sectors, PTAs tend to be female dominated, however, male presence is very important, especially in an all-boys institution. The boys need to see fathers being involved in the welfare of their school.
"The male plays a different role from the female in parenting, and as such a mother cannot substitute for a father in a child's life. A father must be present and active to impart life's lessons to his and others' children."
"If we play our part as fathers and parents, we will not only launch our nation's education towards greater heights of excellence, but also contribute to nation building in a way previously unseen in this great piece of rock on God's earth."