Retired primary school principals honoured
June 7, 2013

Retired primary school principals honoured

Ten retired primary school principals have been honoured by their former peers, for their contribution to education in St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

The Primary Principals’ Association held a heartwarming luncheon for the retirees on Tuesday, at the Young Island resort.

In her address, president of the Primary Principals’ Association Yvette Antoine applauded the retirees for their dedication to the profession.

“The job of a principal is not an easy one. Maybe it was, 30 years ago, but not today. The changes are drastic academically, socially and otherwise,” Antoine said.

“No status or money can adequately compensate us for the work we put in as instructional leaders, managers, administrators, office operators, [statisticians], accountants…sometimes we are nurses, policemen, bodyguards and the list goes on”.

Antoine, who is also the principal of C.W. Prescod Primary School, stated that while the retirees are closing one chapter of their lives, another was about to open.

“The chapter of volunteerism has begun. Continue to assist in the education of our students, …remember that you were a vital and integral part of the government education revolution and the revolution continues, so we need you,” she said.

She also cautioned the current principals, stating that “the baton has been passed on” and that it was up to them to run a good race.

Chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist stated that the ministry’s expression of gratitude to the retirees was extremely sincere.

“Our expression of thanks also comes with the acknowledgement that your tasks are not easy,” Gilchrist said.

“Your work is very important and…very difficult. That is why we at the Ministry of Education are exploring means of simplifying your task”.

Additionally, Gilchrist told retirees that to retire means that they have regained a vigour that they had previously dedicated to the students in their care.

“It means that you can dedicate more time to volunteering, to continue to support your communities using the expertise, skills, knowledge and values which you accumulated during your career,” she said.

On behalf of the retirees, Gosnel Williams expressed thanks to the Primary Principals’ Association for the gesture.

“As we retreat into oblivion, it is quite heartening to know that those with whom we rubbed shoulders over the years have devoted some of their time and resources in an attempt to make us happy,” he said.

Williams said that he felt that he and his colleagues were deserving of the honour, considering the work that they put into education.

“We presume that many of the innovative ideas which were discussed during our time must have now been in full effect,” the retiree said.

Of the 10 retirees, three were absent – Hyacinth Harry, Jacqueline Charles and Myrtle Jack.

The other retirees were Lavern Warrican, Artis Robinson, Carlita Cato, Julian Williams, Yvette Browne and Yvette Spencer.

The retirees expressed fulfillment while they were principals. The majority claimed that if they were to do it all over again, they would.(BK)