JIS News

Six retired education officers from Region Three of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, have been recognized for 67 years of invaluable service to education.
The honourees, Dorothea Walker, Ivy Cummings, Pauline Ritchie, Joyce Richards, Jean Beckford and Linsiroy Nelson, were saluted recently by colleagues, ministry officials, teachers and friends, at an appreciation function, organized by the Ministry, at the Starfish Hotel, in Coopers Pen, Trelawny.
They were presented with plaques, paintings, potted plants, and household items, for their unswerving contribution to education.
Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson, who hailed the education stalwarts, said instead of thinking retirement, this was just another milestone in their career, which called for retooling, as they continued to be productive.
Mrs. Henry-Wilson who was the guest speaker, said as players in the system, they were leaders of change, persons who had upheld integrity and educators who had defined education with a broader meaning.
Commending them for their service, the Education, Youth and Culture Minister said, “you have accumulated experience, education and knowledge, and as education officers, you have been responsible for upholding the tenets of the system, by being responsible for the maintenance of dignity and professionalism”.
She encouraged the group to record some of their experiences as a method of learning, so that the country would not repeat the same errors as it sought to make strides at a faster pace.
The Minister also urged the educators to forge partnerships, because they were still being looked to by the community and the family, for guidance; and she encouraged them to keep on being quality assurance officers by continuing to build on what the country had, in order to enhance and uphold the education system at a certain standard. The citation to Mrs. Walker, former Regional Director, described her career as one that depicted the ministry’s vision, and helped shape the present and the future. She was cited as a clinical practitioner; one who provided counselling and direction; one who expected results instead of excuses; and, a dedicated, modest, graceful, warm and humorous person.
Mrs. Cummings was portrayed as a principled, honest, dynamic and thorough person, who epitomized professionalism, and was not afraid of ridicule; while Mrs. Ritchie was characterized as an instrument of high standard, a woman of substance and grace, and one who was understanding, affectionate, inspiring, supportive and warm.
The citation to Mrs. Richards, presented her as resourceful, always appropriately attired, and in search of current educational trends, and one who established good rapport and encouraged excellence; while Mrs. Beckford was described as a lady armed with the requisite knowledge and skills for quality performance, possessed a charming personality, and was open-minded, caring, motherly, generous and jovial.
Mr. Henry, who was perceived as an unsung hero, was saluted for his distinguished and dedicated service in the area of industrial arts. He was described as an easy-going, loving, sociable, and notable person, who would never be forgotten by those whose lives he had touched.
In her response on behalf of the retirees, Mrs. Walker said it was full time that the word ‘retirement’ be replaced by other words such as ‘renaissance’ or ‘graduation’, “as we rekindle our spirits for risk-taking”.
She thanked the organizers and all those who attended for being so gracious to them, “and we will continue to serve Jamaica”.

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