STETHS SWEEP!

STETHS ed­u­ca­tors take LASCO Prin­ci­pal and Teacher of the Year awards

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer jodi-ann.gilpin@glean­erjm.com

Peter Mark Chin (right), deputy ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of LASCO Af­fil­i­ated Com­pa­nies, and Sen­a­tor Ruel Reid (sec­ond right), min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion, youth and in­for­ma­tion, pose with Prin­ci­pal of the Year Keith Wellington and Teacher of the Year Kerene Nel­son, both of St El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal High School, at the LASCO-Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Youth and In­for­ma­tion Teacher and Prin­ci­pal of the Year 2016 Awards held yes­ter­day at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel in New Kingston.

THE ST El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal High School cre­ated his­tory yes­ter­day as it pro­duced both the Prin­ci­pal and Teacher of the Year at the an­nual LASCO awards cer­e­mony.

Keith Wellington and Kerene Nel­son, re­spec­tively, copped the pres­ti­gious ti­tles to rous­ing ap­plause from the crowd at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel in New Kingston, as many were left stunned at the first-time oc­cur­rence.

Wellington, in his re­sponse, noted years of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion from both staff and stu­dents had re­sulted in the school’s Caribbean Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate pass rate dou­bling – one of sev­eral ac­com­plish­ments for which he was recog­nised.

He stressed, how­ever, that de­spite the many achieve­ments, ser­vice was cen­tral to what he does. He said that among his many ob­jec­tives go­ing for­ward was to as­sist in shap­ing the lives of other leaders in the sys­tem.

TEACH­ING IS A SER­VICE

“It’s an even greater hon­our when you pro­vide a ser­vice and you are recog­nised for that ser­vice. There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween work and ser­vice, and teach­ing is a ser­vice,” he de­clared.

“Lead­er­ship is some­thing that is prac­ti­cal, and there has been so much hap­pen­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem over the last years, that it is im­por­tant that those of us who are in it, not just sur­vive it but help to shape lives,” he con­tin­ued.

He added: “All of what has been said to­day is about achieve­ment, but to­mor­row has noth­ing to do with achieve­ment. Suc­cess is about what hap­pens next, and so those who cre­ate suc­cess should al­ways think about what hap­pens next.”

Ad­mit­ting that she was not sur­prised at cop­ping the ti­tle, Nel­son said it was still a sur­real mo­ment. The Span­ish teacher told The Gleaner that her aim was al­ways to make an im­pact on the lives of stu­dents she in­ter­acts with.

“I was not all that sur­prised, but even though you are an­tic­i­pat­ing your name, when you hear it, is a to­tally dif­fer­ent thing. I felt like I was go­ing to have a heart at­tack,” she said.

“I have a strong pas­sion for teach­ing; it’s about touch­ing a life. I said to some­one this morn­ing (Tues­day), as much as the re­mu­ner­a­tion is not as hand­some as we would have loved, I would have pre­ferred to have been teach­ing than to play­ing a sport where I would have got a lot more [money], be­cause the dif­fer­ence is with this, you touch lives,” Nel­son said.

She said the first or­der of busi­ness for her would be to in­crease the use of tech­nol­ogy in schools in the parish.

Joseth Kerr-Ti­moll, teacher at Hol­land High School in Trelawny, got sec­ond prize, while Pelechia Rod­ney-Ver­non of John Rollins Suc­cess Pri­mary School in St James came third.

For the prin­ci­pal cat­e­gory, Prim Lewis of Aberdeen High School in St El­iz­a­beth was sec­ond, while Keisha Hayle of Pad­more Pri­mary in St An­drew was third.

RU­DOLPH BROWN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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