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    Story Highlights

    • Hampton High Principal, Heather-Dawn Murray, and Aneita Bailey of Marymount High, are the proud LASCO/Ministry of Education (MoE) 2014 Principal and Teacher of the Year, respectively.
    • Mrs. Murray and Miss Bailey, who both came out ahead of a field of six in their respective categories, were on November 4 bestowed with accolades at the award luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
    • They each received a trophy and cheques for $250,000, among other prizes, and will be attending the prestigious Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD) Professional Development Conference in Houston, Texas, next year.

    Hampton High Principal, Heather-Dawn Murray, and Aneita Bailey of Marymount High, are the proud LASCO/Ministry of Education (MoE) 2014 Principal and Teacher of the Year, respectively.

    Mrs. Murray and Miss Bailey, who both came out ahead of a field of six in their respective categories, were on November 4 bestowed with accolades at the award luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

    They each received a trophy and cheques for $250,000, among other prizes, and will be attending the prestigious Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD) Professional Development Conference in Houston, Texas, next year.

    Addressing the nominees and expectant audience, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, lauded the educators for their sterling contribution to the sector.  He also commended LASCO for promoting and rewarding exceptional professional conduct, among educators.

    “When, in addition to the contribution to economic commerce, a company decides to enter into fullsome and sustained partnership with the Ministry to recognise and to accord just praise to principals and teachers, who have done well, then social capitalism is being seen at its best. This is important for us,” Rev. Thwaites stated.

    The Education Minister emphasised that such partnerships can “make the difference” and give enthusiasm and hope to educators and students.

    He saluted the teachers, whom he said, have shown enthusiasm, discipline, and flexibility in exercising their craft and ensuring that they cater to the needs of their students.

    He also praised Jamaican students for topping the awards in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in several subjects. The results for the examinations were published this week.

    Meanwhile, guest speaker, Acting President of the University of Technology (UTech), Ambassador the Hon. Burchell Whiteman, stressed the importance of the continued development of social values and positive attitudes, pointing out that these are just as important as academic achievement.

    “We cannot afford to lose sight (of these)…our educational sector at every level must also include systems for rekindling social values, respect for life and property, strong family values, discipline, and service to community,” he stated.

    Founder and Executive Chairman, LASCO Affiliates, Hon. Lascelles Chin, said the group looks forward each year to the LASCO awards for Principal and Teacher, Police Officer, and Nurse of the year, as these initiatives keep the company family-grounded and aware of its invaluable contribution to fostering national development.

    “I am convinced that it cannot be left up to Government alone to create the society with the moral compass, the work ethic, the passion of excellence, the mental and emotional stability, that make for a peaceful society,” he stated.

    Mr. Chin told the principals and teachers that they play a leading role in the process. “You are privileged to have the future generation in your hands, to mold and create better human beings for a better society. Your influence is therefore of paramount importance,” he asserted.

    In the meantime, President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Doran Dixon, called on principals and other administrators to improve the relationship between themselves and the teaching staff. “We need to think on this and fix it. If we don’t, we are diminishing or ability to provide quality education. Relationships are critical,” he stressed.

    Principal of Retrieve All-Age School in Westmoreland, Yvonne Ward-Hardie; and Principal of Muschett High in Trelawny, Leighton Johnson, came away with the first and second runner-up spots, respectively, for Principal of the Year.

    Loaneen Palmer-Carroll of deCarteret College in Manchester; and Roxanne Elaine Blagrove of Holland High in Trelawny, were first and second runners-up in the Teacher of the Year category.

    The first runner-up in both categories received $150,000 and the second runner-up took home $100,000.

    LASCO, this year, spent in excess of $5.2 million on the Principal and Teacher of the Year award programme, which is an increase over previous years.

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