Educators at John A. Cumber Primary were treated to a special finale of Education Week when the school hosted an appreciation dinner for teachers and support staff.
More than 200 years of cumulative knowledge were represented amongst the 11 awardees, whose individual years of service were numbered in decades, during the formal event at the Wharf Restaurant, said a GIS press release.
Yet the amazing aspect of the evening was surely the timeless disposition of the recipients. This was evident in the longest-serving staffers – Delores Ottey (31 years) and Kathleen McKenzie (30 years) – who still retain the poise and patience they displayed to their first West Bay students in the1970s, the release said.
The weekend was doubly-special for Mrs. Ottey, whose colleagues joined her in celebrating her birthday.
The function was organized and sponsored by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, whose president, Mrs. Keisha Syms, noted that many of the long-serving educators’ current students represent the second generation of pupils to come under their tutelage.
Mrs. Syms thanked the entire John A. Cumber faculty on behalf of the students and parents, and pledged the association’s continued support.
Other teachers and administrators receiving engraved plaques included current principal Mrs. Dewayne Bennett who has served for 20 years; teachers Valerie Levy (20 years); Courtney Perrin (20 years); Valrie Bell-Williams (18); Deputy Principal Lorna Lumsden (16); Janette Hoilett (13); Patricia Lewis (11); and Marlene Samuels (11).
School custodians Barbara Edwards and Bernice Ebanks and cook Erna Williams were also recognised for their long-time service along with administrative officer Grace Depre (15 years).
Commenting on the evening, Principal Bennett said, ‘As a staff we appreciate this gesture, and hope to continue working with the PTA members to make our school a better place. I wish to pay special thanks to our PTA for being such an active body, always willing to assist the school and staff in whatever way they can.’
Members of the PTA Executive also presented special awards to teachers who have made significant contributions to sports and related activities, and monitored raffle drawings of prizes for the educators and their guests.
Other PTA Executive members are: Vice-President Ralph Williams, Treasurer Gilda Moxam-Murray, Assistant Treasurer Linda Ebanks, Secretary Vanda Powery and Assistant Secretary Yolanda Smith.