Tuesday 25 September, 2018

Ellerslie renames rooms to acknowledge teachers

Staff rooms and staff points at the Ellerslie Secondary School now carry the names of former staff members, as the present staff and students sought to pay homage to those who built the institution and helped shape its scholars.

And their model is one which other schools are being encouraged to follow while recognising not only teachers but other staff members, parents, students and other contributors as well.

As one of the Founding Teachers who was at the school from 1966 when it opened, Celeste Porte was also the Head of the Foreign Languages Department and then Deputy Principal from 1999 to 2008 at Ellerslie, and she told Loop:  

“I feel very honoured. Ellerslie has a special place in my heart and so I feel very honoured that they have seen fit to acknowledge the legacy I believe I have made as a teacher at Ellerslie.”

And she encouraged other institutions to adopt this template from Ellerslie.

She said, “That [renaming rooms at other schools] would be a good acknowledgement of the contribution of teachers because very often the contribution of teachers is not acknowledged. We work in the background and we do our work quietly for the love of the children.”

Porte was recognized on the plaque outside the Lower Staff Room. It now carries the name ‘Codrington-Porte’. Owen Codrington was the former Head of Mathematics. The Upper Staff Room bears the name ‘Jordan Phillips’ after former French and Spanish teacher Stanton Jordan and English teacher Marcelle Phillips. Thirdly, there is now the Webster-Williams Staff Room in honour of two past members of staff who dies while in office – Muriel Webster and Nikita née Williams.

But that was not all, they also renamed of the staff points to further show their appreciation for others.

There is now the Yvonne Vaughan Art room, the Sylvia Walcott Home Ec room and the Hartley Forde Room in the Industrial Arts area. Forde was very proud and pleased to attend the event as he had turned 86 years old the day before the unveiling ceremony and his wife Yvonne Forde who penned the lyrics to the Ellerslie School song accompanied him.

All the honourees who are still alive were present and they beamed with pride while chatting about the old days as they moved from staff room to staff room during the tour to see their plaques.

During the feature address, Acting Education Officer with responsibility for the School Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP), Andrea Baptiste called on the students to value everyone who falls under the ambit of the school and its governance – teachers, auxiliary staff, teacher aides, parents, Board of Management and their peers.

“Acknowledge all you have.

“When you reflect forward, I want you to consider that you need to value, acknowledge all that you have. We have a problem in our society where persons do not value parents, they do not value precious resources, they do not value all that they is good and we need to value these things. So in reflecting for action, as you move forward, I want you to consider valuing all the persons that involved under the School Positive Behaviour Management Programme.”

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