Morant Bay High bids farewell to beloved teacher
"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Members of the Morant Bay High School family recently bade a final farewell to Ajanique Dennis, a modern languages teacher who passed away a few weeks ago.
News of her death had past and present students of the St Thomas high school posting goodbye messages on various social media sites.
Morvia Morgan-Marriot, the head of the Department of Modern Languages, said: "Miss Dennis was a loving, selfless, and dedicated teacher. She often went beyond the call of duty to help - or in her words - to 'save the children'. She was a valuable member of the department, who admirably executed her duties with great diligence."
Dennis was commended and recognised for her invaluable service to not only her students, but also for the betterment of the department.
"She could always be called upon to deputise for the head of department, and it would undoubtedly be a job well done. During her seven-year tenure, she showed great enthusiasm and passion for the teaching and learning of Spanish and French. This passion led to her initiative to revive the school's modern languages club," Morgan-Marriot told Family and Religion.
"There was always an atmosphere of mutual respect in her (Dennis') classroom and professionalism was at the core of her being."
Dennis' funeral was well attended by her relatives, her church family, members of her community, and a host of other people who knew, loved, and respected her.
Dennis is remembered not only as a teacher, but also a friend to many. Windel Walker, her past student spoke about her warmth.
He told Family and Religion: "I will always remember Miss Dennis as a very quiet, humble, always pleasant, always smiling person during my Morant Bay High School tenure. She was a warm, comforting soul, someone you could talk to about anything. She was very approachable and always had a word of encouragement to share."
With a huge sigh, he concluded: "I'm really saddened by her passing, and among my greatest regrets was my inability to attend the funeral and say my final farewell. I will always remember her for how she stepped outside being just a professional as she would also be a friend if you needed. I love and miss her."
In an attempt to preserve her memory and to honour her service, the Department of Modern Languages at the school has been brainstorming options, said Morgan-Marriot.
"Although still in the conception stage, there are suggestions to continue the tributes to her in September. Also, some members of staff have discussed the idea of mounting a portrait of her (with her signature smile) in the main staff room. There have also been talks of an Ajanique Dennis Trophy for Excellence in Spanish.
"Her altruistic nature is what many will remember most about our beloved sister, counsellor, prayer warrior, friend, and colleague, Ajanique Jhamelia Dennis," said Morgan-Marriot.