February 20, 2009
Georgetown Secondary celebrates 10 years

by Omesha Spence 20.FEB.09

The 19th of February 2009 will hold great significance for the students and staff of the Georgetown Secondary School, as it marks ten years since the school officially began.

The school, although started in late 1998, was officially named the Georgetown Secondary School on February 19, 1999.{{more}}

Searchlight visited the school to speak to the staff, who all seemed excited about the school’s 10th anniversary.

The school, which had humble beginnings as the Bishop’s College Georgetown, was later turned into the new and improved Georgetown Secondary. Hilton Browne, currently assigned as Principal, remembers the school as a small structure, having about 350 students, but now it has grown to twice its size, carrying over 750 students.

Browne related his experiences over the ten years: “I have enjoyed my time. It has been going well,” he said. Browne, who was with the school from the inception, was transferred to the St. Vincent Grammar School in 2004 as the Headmaster and then to the Ministry of Education as Senior Education Officer/Research & Development, and has returned to Georgetown Secondary to fill in for Principal Kenroy Johnson who is currently on leave.

Browne, who came from Girls’ High School, admitted that his transition was a bit bumpy. “Coming to Georgetown was a bit of a culture shock. GHS was a selected school… Georgetown has children from a wider span, and so you will need to be creative in the way you teach them,” he said. Browne has also remembered students who have passed through the school, including cricketer Linden James and Digicel Rising Star winner Kyron Baptiste.

While he loves his job, Browne said that he has incurred some difficulties, as anyone would imagine, dealing with a school full of children. Many instances of poor punctuality and delinquent behaviour are the main ones he has had to face, with an even bigger challenge of low reading levels of students – especially the boys. This situation, he thinks, can be remedied with the help of reading programmes in primary schools and training for parents, which will help them to monitor delinquent behaviour in their children.

Speaking to teachers who have spent the last ten years with the school, they related their challenges as well. While the challenges stood out among many of them, they also professed their love for the job and their hopes for the school in the next ten years – most of them relating the great potential the school has for development.

Kenrick Cuffy, Mathematics Teacher for ten years at the Georgetown Secondary, related his genuine love for his job. “I love dealing with children. I love the classroom, so despite the challenges I remain inspired,” he said.

However, Cuffy believes that the school has great potential. “Once conditions are right we can see the school go from strength to strength,” he assured.

Sherene Williams, English Teacher, also described her experiences as good ones. “It has been very good so far,” She said. She thinks the school needs much more involvement from parents. “I do not feel we are getting as much participation from the parents as we would like,” she emphasised. She is also of the opinion that students need to be more committed to their work.

Xena Myall, another veteran Teacher, was happy about her contribution to the Library, which began with just a few books and now has a full stock, with a computer lab and a television and DVD set. She recalled when the school was a small one, and reflected on its growth in both academics and sports.

Physical Education Teacher Irvin Warrican also praised the schools’ sports teams. He said that they have excelled in both academics and sports, with special mention of the school’s excellent cricket, table tennis and netball teams.

With the school’s ten successful years under its belt, the teachers expressed their hope for a successful ten more years – from greater development of faculties, to a more dedicated student population.

“I think this can be a very established institution,” Cuffy said.