Teaching was not her first choice of a profession, but 2010 LASCO/Ministry of Education Principal of the Year, Pauleen Reid, has no regrets about her decision to enter the classroom.
Principal of the Year, Pauleen Reid, of Holland High School, in Trelawny, proudly displays her trophy, which was presented to her during the LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards 2010/11, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
“As a teenager I had an interest in banking because I was fascinated with the uniform of one financial institution,” she recalls.
However, it was at the urging of her mother that she chose her current career and has not looked back since. “If I had to re-live my life, teaching would still be my chosen profession,” Mrs. Reid tells JIS News during an interview.
With 23 years of dedicated service to the teaching profession, and various accolades for innovative teaching practices, she says she finds greatest satisfaction in “the kind expressions of gratitude and admiration I receive from past students. I have never experienced any hostility from these students, just genuine affection.”
Mrs. Reid is hailed as a visionary in the field of education. She has demonstrated tremendous proficiency and best practice in the field of education and nation building.
Acting on the philosophy that educators should be committed to developing a responsive environment sensitive to the unique characteristic of each age group,
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (centre), with Principal of the Year, Pauleen Reid (second left), of Holland High School in Trelawny; and Teacher of the Year recipient, Pherone Griffiths (second right), of Spring Gardens Primary and Infant School, in Trelawny, during the LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards 2010/11, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. Also sharing in the moment are Executive Chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin (right), and Marketing Manager, LASCO, Anthony Chang.
Mrs. Reid has instituted a number of student-centred programmes at the Holland High School in Trelawny which she heads, that have helped to improve academic achievement.
She has piloted a weekend retreat or residential camp for students sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and has established academic clubs, a reading centre, reading corners in each class, and a career centre.
The educator has also created the concept of the board of excellence and merit charts. The celebrating excellence boards are mounted at the front and exterior of the school and contain photographs of students, who gain and exceed monthly averages of 80 per cent. The merit charts are displayed in each class, highlighting the outstanding performance of the students.
She promotes logical thinking among her students, through the institution of an innovative debating programme, in which students from the various grades participate and attempt to win the approval of a panel. Cash prizes are awarded to the top debaters.
Mrs. Reid is also credited with developing the school’s safety and development plan, the high school development plan, academic staff manual, among others.
She tells JIS News that the students respond positively to the initiatives and as such “they have been doing exceptionally. We keep tabs on the value-added and so we have to work extremely hard to make sure that there is incremental improvement in all areas and this is very evident.”
With all her accomplishments, it is no wonder that the Clarendon native was selected for the coveted LASCO award earlier this year. “I feel quite elated,” she tells >b>JIS News, noting that the award puts Holland High school on the map in a positive way.
She also hails LASCO and the company head, Lascelles Chin, noting that “they are true patriots”.
“They do not (just bemoan) the ills in the system, but rather finance an initiative aimed at fostering professional development, aimed at advancing school projects and keeping the educators motivated. In my book, LASCO is an acronym for Leaders Acknowledging Service and Commitment,” she says.
Mrs. Reid attended the Vere Technical High school in Clarendon, and later the Shortwood Teacher’s College and the University of the West Indies in Kingston. She holds a Master’s Degree in education from the Central Connecticut State University in the United States.
Institutions that have benefited from her teaching and educational management skills include Ocho Rios High, St. Ann; Frome Technical High, Westmoreland; and William Knibb High, Trelawny.
The annual LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year awards recognise and reward excellence in the teaching profession.
Entrants are judged on their professional development, commitment to education, creative leadership and community involvement.
The winning teacher and principal will each receive $100,000 from LASCO, a trophy, LASCO gift baskets and a trip to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Conference in the United States.