Wesleyan inducts staff for school year

Some of Wesleyan Christian Academy’s staff. Back row from left, Nick Black, Stephanie Phillips, Principal Shauna Haylock, Karisha Mallari, Krista Ebanks, Clare Higgins and LaDonna Rolle with Daphne Ellis. Front row, from left, Karla Andino-Ebanks, Debbie Wilson and Jean Blake. - PHOTOS: ALMA CHOLLETTE

Six former Wesleyan Christian Academy graduates have joined the school’s staff this year.

An induction ceremony was held for all 19 staff on Aug. 21 at the Wesleyan Holiness Church in West Bay.

Stephanie Phillips, Krista Ebanks, Karisha Mallari, Jonathan Ebanks, and Jane and Joseph Haylock are the six former students.

They join staff members Imogene Samms, Daphne Ellis, Karla Andino-Ebanks, Debbie Wilson, Nick Black, Shauna Haylock (school principal), LaDonna Rolle, Clare Higgins, Charles Harris, Merrie-Anne McField, Robert Livingston, Jean Blake and Yvette Ramgeet.

Ms. Andino-Ebanks and Ms. Mallari took the opportunity to reflect on their journey.

Wesleyan Holiness church members perform ‘Amazing Grace’ during offertory on Aug 21.
Wesleyan Holiness church members perform ‘Amazing Grace’ during offertory on Aug 21.

Originally from Honduras, Ms. Andino-Ebanks said her dream was to bring her daughter to the island and to put her through school. She talked about how she had not known how far Cayman was from her country and where exactly Cayman was, but she kept a Wesleyan uniform hanging in her closet for about six years in hopes that one day her daughter Martha would be able to join her in Cayman.

Ms. Andino-Ebanks, currently a K4 monitor, eventually got to see her dream come true.

For her part, Ms. Mallari, who is from the Philippines, said, “I really thank God looking back at all those times when I was questioning how I would survive.”

Ms. Mallari graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration earlier this year.

“I know that Wesleyan is one of the big factors in achieving that,” she said. “We were supposed to leave for good, my parents said … and I was heartbroken because I didn’t want to leave Cayman. [Cayman] had been my home for the last six years.”

Ms. Mallari eventually moved away, but did not stop looking for jobs here even though she was in Qatar.

“I think I sent over 100 applications and not a single reply,” said Ms. Mallari. “I was struggling.”

After six months in Qatar, where she stayed with her aunt and uncle, Ms. Mallari received a job offer from Wesleyan school. Ms. Mallari, who had graduated as valedictorian from Wesleyan Christian Academy, is now a junior high supervisor.

At last month’s ceremony, high school monitor Robert Livingston also took the opportunity to talk about how God had led him to Cayman and to the academy.

Following the testimonies, Pastor Brenda Wallick led the installation and consecration ceremony. Joined by members of the church’s administration, all 19 staff gathered at the altar and pledged to be an example for students, showing them guidance and respect.

“We have this installation primarily to set the staff apart at the beginning of each school year, to just challenge them and the church to know that they have a specific role in a really special place in the hearts and lives of these children,” said Pastor Eugenia Dickerson. “And that’s the purpose of WCA.”

Owned and operated by the Wesleyan Holiness Church, Wesleyan Christian Academy is celebrating its 39th anniversary this month.