Kingston, Jamaica; Anieta Bailey, a teacher at Marymount High School and Heather Murray, Principal of Hampton High School have been selected top educators in the annual LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards 2014/2015. The educators were honoured for excellence in the teaching profession at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, November 4 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The Teacher and Principal of the Year each received a trophy and a cash award of $250,000 among other prizes and will be attending the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Professional Development Conference in Houston Texas in 2015.
Murray succeeds outgoing LASCO/MoE Principal of the Year Norman Malcolm of Windward Road Primary, while Bailey will take over the reins from Janet Walters of John Rollins Success Primary.Each winner was selected from an impressive batch of finalists who gave committed and dedicated service to education and the school community.
Runners-up in the Teacher of the Year category Loaneen Palmer-Carroll of deCarteret College and Roxanne Blagrove of Holland High School, received high marks for innovation in using several teaching techniques to boost learning outcomes. Yvonne Ward-Hardie of Retrieve All-Age School and Lynton Weir of Old Harbour High School, runners-up in the Principal of the Year class, also had a brilliant report card, having demonstrated exceptional leadership. The second and third place winners received $150,000 and $100,000 respectively, trophies and other prizes.
Dr. Eileen Chin, Managing Director, LASCO Manufacturing Limited was impressed with the winners and explained that these champions in education must be recognized for their exceptional work.
“We recognize the important role educators play in the development of our society. Their commitment to shaping the minds of the youth and their tireless service, which sometimes requires them to go above the call of duty, often goes unnoticed. We hold this programme dear to our hearts because it gives us an opportunity to recognize and show appreciation to these unsung heroes as we pay tribute not only to the awardees but to all the hard working members of the profession,” she said.
Heather Murray has devoted over 37 years to molding the minds of the youth. Her community interventions while at the Hampton High School for Girls have resulted in increased enrollment at the institution by approximately 50 per cent. During her decade of leadership at the school, she has also introduced technology-based learning concepts such as lessons via Skype/video calling, e-Learning and Digital Media usage throughout the curriculum that has improved capabilities of the student output.
Like Principal Murray, Anieta Bailey also utilizes technology in the delivery of her lessons. She has proven that creative, engaging and interactive teaching sessions are essential to the classroom experience. Her success during the eight years spent at Marymount High School has motivated other teachers to emulate her enthusiasm and teaching practices.
The LASCO/MoE Teacher of the Year programme began in 1997 and subsequently incorporated the Principal of the Year category in 2006 to recognize the leaders in educational administration.