Principal of the Higgins Land Primary and Junior High School in St. Ann, Fay Sterling, is this year's recipient of the Ministry of Education/Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) World Teachers' Day Leadership in Education Award.
The award, which recognizes dedicated and distinguished service to education, was presented to Mrs. Sterling, during a special ceremony at the school on Friday, October 5, which was observed as World Teachers' Day.
A veteran educator of 33 years, Mrs. Sterling joined the staff of the Higgins Land Primary and Junior High School in 1997, rising to the position of Vice Principal in 2005. Two years later, she was appointed Principal.
In a citation, read by JTC representative, Daniel Warren-Kidd, Mrs. Sterling was described as person with a strong passion and love for children, who has given many years of dedicated and distinguished service to education.
"Your stewardship is an example for all to emulate. It demonstrates dignity, morality, spirituality, integrity, honesty, and goodness. For many, you are a mother, providing advice, giving direction, and love. For some, you are a sister or an aunt, providing encouragement, support, belief, drive, and motivation. For many others, you have been a friend, always there in times of need, being a confidant, a believer, a listener, and just a tower of strength," the citation read.
Delivering the keynote address, Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, in congratulating Mrs. Sterling, expressed the hope that the value of human endeavour, as well as the dignity and purpose that is wrought by and cultured through education, will not become lost on the society. "I trust that this (award) can become a radiating example of goodness throughout the whole of Jamaica," he stated.
The Education Minister also urged the parents of students enrolled at the school, as well as the community at large, to maintain their support for the institution.
In her response, Mrs. Sterling said she was overwhelmed, humbled, and honoured to be selected for the award. She also expressed gratitude to the school’s staff, as well the parents and community, for their unwavering support.
World Teachers' Day has been observed annually, on October 5, since its establishment by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994.