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  • JTA Roll of Honour awardee, Mr. Patrick Smith, has been hailed as a person who exemplifies many of the qualities of a great educator, by Prime Minister Simpson Miller.
  • A past President of the JTA, Mr. Smith has served in education for 46 years at various levels.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller described Mr. Smith as “a most fitting recipient” of the award, in this the 50th year of the JTA.

The 2013 Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Roll of Honour awardee, Mr. Patrick Smith, has been hailed as a person who exemplifies many of the qualities of a great educator, by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

A past President of the JTA, Mr. Smith has served in education for 46 years at various levels and joins a long and illustrious list of recipients of the prestigious award.

“As I read about Mr. Smith’s advocacy, his various negotiations and his deep interest in social issues, I reflect on my own public life and feel an affinity with him.  I understand the sense of satisfaction that Mr. Smith must be feeling tonight, as he is honoured by his peers – the highest honour anyone can receive,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The Prime Minister was addressing the presentation ceremony, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, on February 13.

Mrs. Simpson Miller described Mr. Smith as “a most fitting recipient” of the award, in this the 50th year of the JTA.

“This group gathered here this evening is an indication of the high esteem in which you are held, and a representation of the many lives which you have touched and influenced. You have indeed been fighting a good fight and you have kept the faith in your people and your students. You have justly earned the coveted Honour Roll Award,” the Prime Minister told him.

She noted that as a society, “we do not thank teachers enough for the way they have shaped our lives. In fact, I do not think we can truly thank (them) enough,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The JTA Roll of Honour Award is made in recognition of outstanding contribution to education by a Jamaican national, consistent with the JTA Code of Ethics.

Secretary General of the association, Dr. Adolph Cameron, said the Honour Roll, by its very nature, demands of the awardee the highest level of probity, integrity and professional conduct.

“The Award seeks to emphasise excellence in performance and is not to be confused with long, meritorious and faithful service, although the association acknowledges with pride such service,” he added.

President of the JTA, Dr. Mark Nicely, congratulated Mr. Smith for “the tremendous and selfless contributions that he has made to education and the JTA, and for setting the pace for future generations of teachers.”

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, also added his congratulations, noting that Mr. Smith richly deserved the award.

He humorously cited the awardee’s adeptness in the knowledge, traditions, precedence and experience of the Education Act and the Code of Education, noting that “the man is encyclopaedic.”

In his response, Mr. Smith thanked the Awards Committee for choosing him for the honour and graciously acknowledged the many persons, including members of his extended family, who supported him along the way.

He traced his career path over the years which began as a young teacher of Latin and Spanish at the Kingston based Stratford High School in 1967. He also taught at Excelsior High School; University of the West Indies Extra Mural Department; Calabar High School; Clarendon College; Cross River State School of Basic Studies and the University of Calabar, in Nigeria; Archbishop Tennison Grammar School and the Lilyan Bayliss Secondary School in England; St. Mary High School; and then Church Teachers’ College in Manchester,  where he won the position of JTA President in 1996.

He developed a passion for history and introduced innovative methods of getting his students to learn and appreciate the subject. At every stage of his career, Mr. Smith was involved in advocacy and pioneered the teaching of several courses at the various institutions at which he served, impacting the lives and development of many.