MANDEVILLE — Manchester’s Porus High School honoured five retired teachers and Dr. Bert Mitchell, who established a scholarship fund to support the students over 35 years ago, at a special function on Tuesday (May 19), at the Golf View Hotel, Mandeville.
The other honourees were: Bernice Hylton, retired Vice Principal, who served the school for 36 years; Arlene Bryan, 32 years; Paulette Higgins, 13 years, Claire Graham, 11 years; and Godfrey Rocke, 18 years.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, noted that teachers are doing more than simply delivering an education, as the nation has to depend on them to promote good values, in the midst of a conflicting society.
“Teachers do this at their own risk, because you have some parents who will come to defend the indefensible, and place our teachers at risk,” Mr. Holness said, while urging educators to continue to make the distinction between right and wrong and to reinforce core values.
President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Nadine Molloy-Young, said the nation was indebted to the honourees, for their over 100 years (combined) contribution to education
“You have developed an enviable reputation, by believing in the children of Jamaica. You dedicated yourself to them and their development, in no small way. We believe that many of our students survived to help others because, as teachers, you taught them to love, by loving them,” the JTA head said.
Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Sonia Madden, told the gathering that the recognition was in honour of their dedicated service to education.
“I am tremendously pleased that Dr. Mitchell is among those being honourd, because he has done so much, in terms of financial contribution to the upliftment of the students at Porus High. We have an awesome responsibility of molding the lives of our children. Honourees, you gently pursued the path of excellence, so that today we can pause to honour you for the quantitative and qualitative contribution you made to the education of our young people,” she stated.
Former Vice-Principal of the school, Bernice Hylton, who replied on behalf of her colleagues, said that their course was a rewarding one.
“We were not deterred. The mistakes we made and the lessons learnt molded us to be better persons. When we saw our students excelling, we were encouraged to continue. What we bore in mind was not the many hours we put in the class rooms, but how much we put in the hours,” she said.
“As we take our exit, we have no regrets. We can honestly say, we have served and have served well, and left with a deep sense of satisfaction,” the 36 years veteran told the gathering. Tributes also came from the parent’s body and past students.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter