The Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) and the Willard Wheatley Primary School received coveted School of the Year awards when the Ministry of Education and Culture held their grand appreciation and awards dinner at the Multipurpose Sports Complex last evening, March 16.
The gala evening saw the transformation of the complex into a carpeted ballroom as teachers and other invited guests donned gowns and suits for an evening of fellowship and the announcement of award winners for the 2011-2012 school year.
Mrs. Berinice Barry was awarded the most outstanding pre-primary teacher and received a laptop from LIME, a cheque for $1,000 and the Virgin Islands Stars in Education trophy, among other prizes.
Althea Scatliffe Primary School's Ms. Tamika George was awarded the most outstanding primary school teacher and received among other prizes, one year free broadband internet service from LIME and a cheque for $1,000.
The most outstanding secondary school teacher went to Mrs. Elecia Todman. She took home a cheque for $1,000.
Acting Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School, Mr. Wade Tobin escorts another school official on their way to uplift their School of the Year Award at the awards and appreciation dinner for educators on Saturday evening, March 16.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/ BVI Platinum News
Ms. Delta Greens received the award for most outstanding new teacher at the primary level. She received an iPad and a cheque for $500 as part of her prizes.
The most outstanding new secondary school teacher was Lohanny Santana-Wheatley, who also received an iPad and a cheque for $500.
The most improved pre-primary teacher award went to Ms. Shamelia Lindsay, who won among other prizes, dinner for two at Scrub Island Resort and a cheque for $500.
Mrs. Jennifer Cupid was awarded the most improved primary teacher. She received dinner for two at Peter Island Resort and a cheque for $500.
The most improved secondary teacher was Ms. Tiomi Frett. She received dinner for two at Long Bay Resort and a cheque for $500.
The teacher of the year award at the ESHS went to Mrs. Elecia Stoutt-Todman, while for Bregado Flax Educational Center Secondary Division, Mrs. Karen Matos was awarded teacher of the year.
At Claudia Creque Educational Centre, Ms. Lisa Vanterpool was awarded the best teacher, while Ms. Christine Clyne was awarded teacher of the year at BVI Technical and Vocational Institute.
Each secondary school teacher of the year award recipient received a cheque for $1200.
The primary school principal of the year award went to Mrs. Enid Penn-Charles. She received prizes that included a weekend for two at Mango Bay, Virgin Gorda, an iPad and a cheque for $1500.
Mrs. Erma Vanterpool of the Claudia Creque Educational Centre took home the secondary school principal of the year award and took home prizes including a cheque of $1500, an iPad and a weekend for two at the Moorings Marina Inn.
The Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre received the Ministry of Education and Culture's trophy for vision and innovation in special education.
During the ceremony, it was announced that the teachers were awarded based on the selection of their peers.
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn announced that the awards will be held annually. Each category is named in honour of individuals who have made significant contributions to the education system. Those named were Claudia Lettsome, Cecily Malone, Juliette Wheatley, Dotsie Hodge, Gracia Stevens, Janet Stoutt, Adorothy Turnbull, Jennie Wheatley, Irma Smith, Roy Harrigan, Claudia Creque and Alfred Christopher. There are also two awards named in honour of the late Inez Brathwaite and Barbara Turnbull.
"As we continue to create a culture of excellence within our education system, this Education Week we felt it was especially important for us to begin to celebrate the persons that are on the frontlines each day; imparting knowledge to our students and shaping the educational and social consciousness of our Virgin Islands youth - you our educators. Our doctors, lawyers, politicians, tradesmen and entrepreneurs all began dreaming dreams of a life they would aspire to in the classrooms of our schools," Minister Walwyn stated.
He stated that teachers are truly the shapers of the country and the Government's vision for education in the Virgin Islands is to ensure all citizens at every stage of their learning journey, from early years to adulthood, are able to reach their full potential and be successful in life, at work and in society.
"We are at a critical stage in our development and what we teach our students must be in tandem with the national priorities and workforce needs of the country. That was the rationale behind introducing tourism and financial services in schools. It is also the impetus for the immediate establishment of a true technical school here in the Virgin Islands," Minister Walwyn pointed out.
Premier Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith and other senior Government officials were in attendance at the dinner.
The keynote speaker was the Director for Education at Hertfordshire County Council, Mr. Justin Donovan.
The appreciation dinner was the final event for Education Week 2013, which was held under the theme, "Creating a Culture of Excellence through Prevention and Intervention."