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Retired Principal of the Richmond Park Primary School, in Clarendon, Mrs. Zoie Cockett, has been recognised for serving the institution for 36 years, by the Parent-Teacher Association, the Past Students Association and members of staff.
At a function held at the school on October 18, many tributes were paid to her, a citation was read and a gift presented.
Mrs. Cockett’s service to the education sector spanned 41 years, 36 of which were spent at Richmond Park Primary as a teacher of Grades One and Two and then as principal from May 1996 to August 2006, when she retired from the teaching profession.
She has been credited for establishing a reading laboratory and a phonics centre at the school, and teaching female students to sew, in addition to her regular teaching duties.
In reading the citation to Mrs. Cockett, teacher and past student at the institution, Ms. Millicent Bartley said that Mrs. Cockett taught her students life skills, so that they could make their contribution to society.
“Her many talents and versatility as a teacher were experienced by those she taught. We, her pupils, can readily recall the many ways in which she encouraged us to think critically. She certainly ensured that we were taught certain life skills. Her students have shone and are making worldwide contributions to society, many of them in her chosen field,” she said.
Miss Bartley described Mrs. Cockett as an excellent teacher, mother, mentor, friend, counsellor and a “true matriarch.”
She said that qualities such as dedication, personality and exemplary qualities have earned Mrs. Cockett the respect of her colleagues, parents and community members.
Guest speaker at the function, and a past teacher and student of the institution, Dr. Enid McClymont, said that Mrs. Cockett was a servant leader and implored others that ” if they want to be good leaders, then they must become servant leaders.”
She said that servant leadership could transform the workplace and the society and that, “as we strive to lead in our little corner of society, be it in the classroom, the church setting or in the business world, let us strive to be servant leaders, so that God and humanity will be honoured by that which we are engaged in.”
In her reply, Mrs. Cockett said that she appreciated all the support she received from her husband, her children, members of staff of the school, parents and guardians, Officers of the Ministry of Education, the School Board, students, and residents of the community.
“Many journeys have obstacles to overcome. My journey here was very challenging at times, yet rich, and very fulfilling. Mine was not an individual achievement, so I wish to share these accolades with those who featured in my achievements,” she noted.
Mrs. Cockett said that to be honoured for her contribution to nation building has left her with a “wonderful feeling, which cannot be explained.”

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