For sterling service to Jamaica’s education sector, three outstanding educators have been named Teacher and Principal of the Year by the LASCO Chin Foundation, the Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY) and the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC).
They are Jody Brown of Morant Bay Primary School, Teacher of the Year; Discovery Bay High School’s Dwayne Mulgrave, Principal of the Year; and Gina Mullings of St. Catherine High School, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Teacher of the Year.
In a glamorous awards ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (Feb. 3), the three educators received trophies, a cash prize of $100,000 each and a variety of gift baskets.
They were also gifted with an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2023 Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Conference slated for Denver, Colorado in the United States (US).
Overall, 130 educators were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the nation’s education sector during the award ceremony.
Acting Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education and Youth, Dr. Kasan Troupe, who delivered remarks on behalf of Permanent Secretary, Maureen Dwyer, lauded the educators for the gallant efforts displayed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been through so much. Throughout the pandemic, we have pushed and pulled our teachers and our leaders,” she said, noting that the innovativeness they showed to connect with their students characterises “the essence of excellence in the (education) system”.
“Today, we are embracing excellence in a changing environment. I’m what I am because a teacher loved me and worked with me…and made a difference in my life, and that’s what you do every day, colleagues. You cause children to believe, and you unearth their own excellence,” Dr. Troupe said.
Deputy general manager at LASCO Manufacturing Limited, Lisa Watts, who delivered remarks on behalf of Founder and Executive Chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, noted that “few hold the destiny of a nation in their hands quite like its teachers.”
She said that LASCO is pleased to show appreciation to educators who “have taken up the mantle to shape our nation’s future through education.”
The top awardees all boast outstanding resumes, and were selected based on their competence, commitment to education, community involvement, among other things.
Principal of the Year, Dwayne Mulgrave, has served the education system as teacher of Geography and the Social Sciences, Senior Teacher, Vice Principal and Acting Principal.
Runners-up in the category are Principal of Anchovy High School, Cheryl Grant-Mitchell; and Principal of Old Harbour Primary School, George Goode, who also copped the People’s Choice award from a social media vote.
Teacher of the Year, Jody Brown, has more than a decade of experience. He has trained children in 4-H, including parish and national champions, as well as conducted professional development sessions for the JTC, his school and other institutions.
Runners-up are Sydney Pagon STEM Academy’s Patrice Kelly and George Headley Primary School’s Suzan Hart.
TVET Teacher of the Year, Gina Mullings, boasts 29 years of service in the education sector. She is certified in guidance and counselling and community lay work and was recently awarded the Global Education Citizen Award for 2023.
Runners-up are Troy High School’s Nyoka Sewell Powell and Sasha Pennicooke of Horace Clarke High School.
The top awardees all delivered moving speeches upon accepting their awards, thanking their families, colleagues and the LASCO Chin Foundation/MOEY/JTC for having selected them for the honour.
The LASCO Chin Foundation has been awarding outstanding Jamaican educators since 1997. The awards were last held in 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for this year was ‘Embracing Excellence in a Changing Environment’.