Antia Steer, top-class educator
We live in a society where hype comes after success, and we tend to see negative traits emerging after persons have a sense of achievement. Today, though, I want to laud the works and humility of a phenomenal woman, Antia Steer.
Mrs Steer, for those who don't know, is the outgoing principal of my alma mater, Mona High School. When I started attending the school in 2003, Mrs Steer was the vice-principal and was hardly ever seen. She would always be working quietly and efficiently behind then principal, Mr Smith.
She was a student favourite and was at times criticised for her method of always having a soft answer instead of being boisterous.
When Mr Smith retired, fittingly she was appointed acting principal for some years before she officially became principal. During this time, she worked assiduously alongside her staff and the students to propel the school. Now, students want to be transferred to Mona High, which is still turning back scores of transfer requests every year.
Last year, the school placed first and second among non-traditional high schools in English A and mathematics in CSEC examinations, thus becoming No. 2 among non-traditional high schools, only behind Denbigh High School from Clarendon.
Mrs Steer demonstrates that persons can reap success and still remain calm and humble. She also displayed 'stick-to-itiveness', which many Jamaicans need to model. She faced many challenges in her tenure, but rose like a champion and led by example.
She will always be celebrated as one of the finest leaders to have graced the teaching profession. I speak on behalf of Mona High School students, both past and present, when I say, Mrs Steer, wherever life takes you, remember that you have blazed a trail that has changed lives and we are all grateful that you walked into our school and into our lives. We love you.
Islington, St Mary