The Golden Spring Primary School in rural St. Andrew opened its new academic year on September 3 with a special ceremony to mark its 25th anniversary under the theme: 'Promoting The Past To Enhance The Future'.
At the function held at the Temple Hall New Testament Church of God, 10 members of staff were honoured for their long and dedicated service.
Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in his congratulatory message read by Mrs. Michelle Garvey Clarke, urged students not to be distracted but to focus on their school work so they will ultimately achieve their goals of being good and responsible citizens of Jamaica.
"A review of your school’s history is a strong testimony of what is possible through perseverance, hard work, commitment and discipline. The school’s motto ‘Only The Best Is Good Enough’, is appropriate as it serves to reinforce primarily in the minds of the students that they must always strive for the highest, working to their full potential and giving ‘the full hundred’,” Mrs. Clarke read.
Special Advisor to the Minister of Education, Dr. Franklin Johnston, congratulated the school on reaching its special milestone. Dr. Johnston told the students that their major job is to learn what their teachers have taught in school.
"Education, being in school today, is part of the blessing you have and I hope you appreciate it. I hope you take care of it and I hope you learn,” Dr. Johnston said, noting that in some countries, children are too poor to attend school and in many instances do not have proper educational facilities.
In her welcome address, Principal Joycelyn Bennett, reported that the school has been doing well academically and in activities such as the National Spelling Bee Competition, National Bible Quiz, primary school athletic championships, cub scouts and many other areas. She also acknowledged the excellent community relations and strong sponsorship support that the school enjoys.
"In our steady, yet profound way, we continue to make impressive strides in education and it is our goal to be the bastion of primary education in West Rural St. Andrew by 2025,” she stated.
Teacher, Sharron Gayle-McLean, who is the longest serving member of staff, told JIS News that “it has been a pleasure serving at Golden Spring Primary School” for the past 20 years. “Some days have proved to be very challenging but…it’s really a blessing to see children evolving from one level to the next to become worthwhile citizens of our country. This is what has kept me through the years”.
Other honourees were: Deanna Ball-Aikman for serving 17 years; Junior Hervin Henry, 16 years; Maxine Baxter Bryan and Marilyn Elizabeth Swaby, 15 years; Henretta Biggs-Curtis and Monica Angella Wiltshire, 14 years; Annie Fearon-Asphall, 13 years; Inez Victoria Thompson, 12 years; and Mark Smith for dedicated service.
The Golden Spring Primary School began in 1987 with 140 students on roll and three teachers. Today, there are 650 students and 17 teachers in addition to the principal, vice principal and administrative staff.
Today’s event saw the community turning out to support the school in its celebration. There were representatives from the Kiwanis Club of Stony Hill, the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA), and members of several churches and principals in and around the area. There was entertainment from the Jamaica Military Band and multi-Festival Song Competition winner Roy Rayon.