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Althea Loban Esty goes the extra mile for her students

Published:Saturday | March 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Althea Loban Esty

Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer

MANCHIONEAL, Portland:

INFLUENCED BY her mother, a retired teacher, Althea Loban Esty is continuing the family tradition of educating minds in an era where education is arguably the only way to alleviate poverty.

Loban Esty, who, before her marriage to Kevin Esty, an influential religious leader at the Boundbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church, was persuaded by her mother, Dorel King, to continue the family tradition of teaching, while working at City Plaza Pharmacy as a pharmacist assistant in 1996.

"It was then that I decided to go to college. I started to attend the College of Agriculture Science and Education at Passley Gardens in Portland to pursue a degree in primary education," she said. "I was successful, and shortly after, I was afforded a job at Manchioneal All-Age in the parish. I am currently teaching grade-five students, who are being prepared for next year's Grade Six Achievement Test ," she added.

Loban Esty reflected that despite the challenges, she made the right decision to switch from pharmaceutical drugs to teaching more than 16 years ago, as she now has a full-time career in the field of education.

Challenging at times

While happy with the career switch, she noted that a scarcity in teaching resources, including books, is seriously hampering the efforts of teachers at the Manchioneal school. From time to time, she said, they have to use unconventional means to ensure that students benefit from a high-quality education.

And while teaching is her passion, Loban Esty is also first elder of the Boundbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is unprecedented, as she is the first woman to occupy that post.

The jovial and charismatic teacher and cleric, who also obtained a first degree in history at the University of the West Indies, is committed to the development of her students.

She added: "They are our children, and for them to have any real future, we have a duty to ensure that they are afforded the opportunity to learn. Sacrifices have to be made, and as a teacher, I am willing to go the extra mile to teach my children (students), even if it means having to stay on after school to conduct extra classes."