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Retired principals honoured for 272 years of service

Published:Tuesday | December 24, 2019 | 12:11 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer


Eight retired principals from the parishes of Westmoreland, St James and Hanover, who collectively gave 272 years in the service of education, were honoured by the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Region Four at a principals’ retreat and award banquet at the Royalton Hotel, in Trelawny, last week.

The honourees, Jannett Reynolds, Gerald Lawrence, Mavis Hamilton, Annette Gayle-Williams, Shanette Beckford, Winsome McFarlane, Christine Seivwright and Cecelia Jackson, were lauded for their innovative leadership and dedication.

“The retreat sought to challenge the innovative leaders to re-imagine the paradigm as we empower, engage, encourage, and ensure a bright future for all,” stated Dr Michelle Pinnock, the director for the MOE’s Region 4.

Challenge to retirees

Moravian pastor Dr Christopher Eupha, who was the guest speaker at the banquet, challenged the principals not to neglect those children who may be lacking in parental support and a vision for the future.

“Don’t give up on the children, who lack parental support, they are a reflection of the society,” said Eupha. “They see very little value in education and think only of getting rich. Many of them would rather be a bad man. Despite the disrespect, do not fight fire with fire, show love and care.”

The pastor urged the retiring principal not to just walk away, but to stay relevant by using their talent to make a positive contribution to nation-building.

“Do not take your talents out of the system. Become mentors to the children. The society will be the benefactor of your mentorship,” said Eupha.

Gerald Lawrence, who responded on behalf of the retirees, said the many years they spent serving education reflected their collective love for teaching.

“We all loved to teach. If this was not so, we would not have spent all these years in the education system. This gesture is highly appreciated and we feel proud to have contributed in a significant way to educating the nation’s children,” said Lawrence.

The retreat focused on innovative leadership, effective teaching and learning methodologies, strengthening interpersonal relationship among stakeholders, capacity building and networking among staff and personal development and self-care.