Monday 19 August, 2019

IWD: Cheers to six female principals who were best

There will always be a place and need for good leaders. Happy International Women's Day to all Barbadian women who are making their own paths and embodying the characteristics of a great leader.

As the World celebrates International Women's Day today, Friday, March 8, 2019, Loop salutes some stalwart principals who left an indelible mark on their students and in some cases the society.

These six women were and are bright beacons in the field of Education in Barbados.

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1. Joan Blackett - Former Principal of the Springer Memorial Secondary School. In 2014, alumni of the alma mater recognised Blackett for cultivating sporting and athletic success at the school which boasts the most Barbados Secondary Schools' Athletics Championship Girls' titles. She was also a disciplinarian and when the trend was to wear your socks low, it was rumoured that Mrs. Blackett had a drawer full of socks that she took away from the girls who used to fold yards of sock under their sole and tuck in their shoes to give the look of ankle socks. 

2. Coreen Kennedy - Former Principal of Queen's College. Mrs. Kennedy was known for her poise and her attire. She always believed that the Queen's College student had to look the part. One time at prayers, she was most upset after seeing a student walking the street while drinking a drink the evening prior. Worse yet, she did not even have a straw. Mrs. Kennedy was not a big disciplinarian but she commanded respect in her own quiet way.

3. Catherine Jordan - Former Principal of St. George Secondary School. She was appointed the President of the Athletics Association of Barbados back in 2013. Jordan showed her caring nature when she called on government to help students who need welfare assistance to be able to truly benefit from their education.

4. Dame Avisene Carrington - Former Principal of Merryville. She operated the school at her Pine Road residence in 1959 until it closed in 2010. She taught some of Barbados' greatest - Sir Wes Hall, Nicholas Brancker, Arturo Tappin, Attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, Minister of Transport Dr. William Duguid, Former MP and Former Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy. Affectionately known as Avis, she turned 100 years old September 17th, 2018.

5. Karen Best - Former Principal of Hillaby Turner's Hall Primary School. Chief Education Officer Best was honoured almost exactly one year ago, when the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) named one of the roads in its Hothersal Development, Academia Estates, after her. She was the longest-serving president of the BUT. 

6. Lena Barrett - Present Headmistress of Grace Bible School. She was with the educational institution over its 40 years of existence. When it comes to providing a good solid foundation steeped in values and morals, Mrs. Barrett continues to assure parents and guardians that, "We teach the Bible. We do not teach religion."

Happy International Women's Day 2019!

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