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Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, on a visit to the St. Andrew High School for Girls in Kingston Thursday (July 8), lauded the Principal and students for upholding its traditionally high standard of excellence.
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar, taught English and History at the local school, between 1974 and 1976 after graduating from the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Campus, and spent another 10 years in Jamaica with her husband, Dr. Gregory Bissessar.
Thursday’s emotional tour was part of a two-day working visit to Kingston as special guest of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, following the 31st Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which ended Wednesday (July 7) in Montego Bay, St. James.
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar revealed that she has followed the progress of the school, and that the institution continues to be a source of pride by maintaining a high standard of excellence.
The Prime Minister also shared very fond memories of being at the Kingston institution, pointing out that among the best moments she shared with the students was the singing, which she still practices.
“I also learnt the bond of sisterhood from this school and the strength of an excellent institution of education,” she said.
She urged the Principal and students of the single-gender institution to continue to shine and believe in themselves, because “as a woman you can do anything you set your mind to”.
Chairman of the Board of Management, Hon. Professor Barbara Bailey, in welcoming the visiting Prime Minister, said the school was very proud that she had started her professional life there.
“We are also happy that your visit comes at a time when we are celebrating the 85th anniversary of the founding of this institution, and we take this opportunity to thank you for the contribution you would have made here.to the strong tradition of excellence which has been a hallmark of this institution,” she said.
Professor Bailey congratulated Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar on her recent appointment as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, and implored her to continue to promote greater equity and social justice throughout the region.
Principal, Sharon Reid, also extended congratulations to the Prime Minister on her appointment, and presented her with a framed copy of a recommendation letter written for her by the then Principal, Joan Reader, when she was about to leave.
Head Girl, Shanique Beckett, presented the Prime Minister with a signed print of an original painting of the school by the late Jamaican painter, Albert Huie.
The Prime Minister presented the school with several copies of a book she recently launched, which is made up of a selection of her speeches, for the school’s library.
A lawyer by profession, 58-year-old Mrs. Persad-Bissessar became the seventh and only female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago on May 26, after leading the coalition People’s Partnership to victory in the General Election on May 24.