Golden Apple Awards finalists selected

A dozen local educators have been selected as finalists from a pool of more than 500 nominations for the 2018 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

The Golden Apple Awards, which are run in partnership between the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Education, are being re-instituted after a five-year hiatus.

Chamber President Paul Byles said, “We received over 500 nominations from the community, so to be included on these shortlists is no small feat. We are very much looking forward to celebrating the achievements of these educators at the gala, and we wish everyone the very best of luck.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Saturday, May 26, at 6 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.


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Shakeina Bush and Heather Thompson are nominated as primary school teachers in public schools.

Ms. Bush, a teacher at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School, serves as vice president of the Motocross Association, leader of the afternoon Chess Club, and chairwoman of the Cayman Islands Football Association for Female Football.

Ms. Thompson, of the Lighthouse School, has been recognized as “exemplary” on the Teaching and Learning Observation scale and was awarded Cayman First Classroom of the Month in March 2017.

Emily Garvey and Asynthia Lewis have been nominated as primary school teachers in private schools.

Ms. Garvey, of St. Ignatius Catholic School, has taught for 13 years and has managed to integrate social media into her teaching techniques.

Ms. Lewis, who teaches at First Baptist Christian School, has incorporated auditory, visual and kinaesthetic techniques to her practice over the years.

Denise Colquhoon and Patrice Hanson have been nominated as public school high school teachers.

Ms. Colquhoon, the head of the Life Skills Department at Clifton Hunter High School, is responsible for updating the Schemes of Work for Key Stage 3 and developing curriculum for Key Stage 4.

Ms. Hanson teaches at John Gray High School, and 100 percent of year 11 class passed their exams. Ms. Hanson has consistently been rated exceptional in her annual performance appraisals.

Bill LaMonte and Coaine Richards have been nominated as private school high school teachers.

Mr. LaMonte, a science teacher for 17 years, is the lead teacher of the Science Department at Cayman International School. He has been recognized as a National Board Certified Science Teacher.

Mr. Richards has been a mathematics teacher for nearly two decades and currently serves as the sixth form mathematics coordinator and Gifted & Talented coordinator at St. Ignatius Catholic High School.

Three candidates – Marcia Rennie, Mable Richardson and April Tibbetts – will vie for the Golden Apple in the Principal (public and private) category.

Ms. Rennie, the principal at Edna M. Moyle Primary School, has emphasized the importance of holistic development, as well as cultivation of arts and sports alongside academic pursuits.

Ms. Richardson, principal at Triple C School, has seen student capacity at her school almost double over the last decade. Ms. Richardson has more than 25 years of experience.

Ms. Tibbetts, principal of West End Primary in Cayman Brac, started in the school system as a teacher before rising through the ranks.

Nimmi Sekhar, the vice principal of early childhood and elementary education at Cayman International School, will be granted a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Sekhar has spent nearly 30 years serving as an educator.

Tickets for the Golden Apple Awards ceremony are available for purchase at CI$50 per person, and they can be obtained by calling 949-8090 or by emailing [email protected]

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