Fri | Sep 22, 2023

Another Clarendon school mourns as Jamaica loses 10 teachers in one month

Published:Sunday | June 12, 2022 | 11:17 PM
At least 10 educators have died in the last four weeks, some of them suddenly. 

The Pleasant Valley Primary and Infant School in Clarendon is mourning the passing of Yasmin Gordon, the tenth teacher to die in Jamaica since May 11. 

Gordon, who worked in the infant department, died on Saturday morning. 

She had been ailing for some time, The Gleaner understands.

Director of Region 7 within the Ministry of Education and Youth, Barrington Richardson, said the team is saddened at Gordon's death. 

"It is never business as usual when we lose a colleague - a fellow educator who is making a difference in the lives of our students," Richardson said. 

Recounting the deaths of several educators over the last few weeks, Richardson said the region has been pushing lifestyle changes among teachers because "our health is our business and also it is our wealth". 

"We also have been encouraging all our principals to deliberately include health and wellness sessions, functions and activities that will treat with the psychosocial needs of all categories of staff," he said. 

Dozens of persons have paid tribute since the school broke news of Gordon's passing on its Facebook page. 

"Very sad. Condolences to family, school family, friends and loved ones. Sip," said Leroy Nain. 

Rosalee Bryan said: "No words! Sigh no words."

Gordon, a mother of 5 children, was a past student of the Catholic College of Mandeville, Manchester. 

At least 10 teachers have died in the last four weeks, some of them suddenly. 

Jamaica Teachers' Association President Winston Smith has urged his colleague educators to make taking care of themselves a priority. 

READ MORE: Teachers advised to prioritise self-care in wake of sudden deaths

On May 17, after five teachers passed in quick succession, Education Minister Fayval Williams said the deaths were a "big shock to the education system". 

Teachers who have died since May 11: 

1. Gregory Williams, lecturer at the Portmore Community College

2. Antoinette Banton-Ellis - principal of Vere Technical High School

3. Ann Marie Johnson Lindo - vice-principal of Duncans All-Age School

4. Carlos Gordon - teacher of One Way Preparatory School

5. Donnalee Wright - teacher, Tarrant High School

6. Amory Tomlinson - teacher at a school in Black River, St Elizabeth

7. Jennifer Gidden - acting principal and vice-principal of Charlemont High School 

8. Deloris McFarlane - Discovery Bay All-Age School 

9. Shirley Pinnock - vice-principal, Excelsior Primary and Infant School

10. Yasmin Gordon - teacher, Pleasant Valley Primary and Infant School

- Olivia Brown

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