Nine teachers from the parishes of Clarendon, St Catherine and St James, where the company operates its LNG facilities, were honoured as the New Fortress Energy Foundation Community Heroes 2022 for their passion, creativity and commitment to maintaining a high standard of learning in their schools and communities.
The teachers each received a trophy and $100,000 in home improvement vouchers to shop at Courts.Verona Carter, VP at New Fortress Energy, in congratulating the teachers, said, “Education transforms lives and nations. Education is also at the heart of our mission at New Fortress Energy to help build a sustainable socio-economic future for Jamaica. We are therefore delighted to be able to partner with the Ministry of Education and Youth and other key stakeholders to celebrate and honour you, our teachers, for your commitment, dedication and passion for building and uplifting our nation.”
Dr Michelle Pinnock, regional director in the Ministry of Education and Youth, who represented Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams at the award ceremony, held at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry last month, lauded teachers for their many sacrifices.
“To our nine community heroes, our teachers, we express our gratitude for your committed, excellent service to education. As lighthouse awardees, I ask that you return to your institutions as beacons of hope and transformation, calling others towards excellence. Today we celebrate and honour you; your enthusiasm, unwavering dedication and passion for this noble profession of teaching and learning are appreciated,” added Dr Pinnock.
Councillor David Brown, Montego Bay West Division, who represented Councillor Leeroy Williams, mayor of Montego Bay, also congratulated the teachers, saying, “Jamaica needs the doctor who will answer the call at 3 a.m., Jamaica needs the fireman who will rush into the burning building, as well as the police officer and the soldier who will make our nation that much safer. Most importantly, Jamaica needs the teacher who will inspire the minds of all these professions. And it is with honour and humility that we shine a light on our local heroes – our teachers.”
In shortlisting the teachers for the awards, New Fortress Energy Foundation partnered with the Ministry of Education and Youth to select the teachers, based on their performance appraisals and their creativity in connecting with their students. These teachers, who all scored highest in their schools, used various methods, including community drive-throughs, making videos, using Jamboard, games, songs, WhatsApp messages, virtual trips and tours to supplement Zoom and Google Classroom, to connect with and engage students while schools were online. Some of these teachers also went above and beyond to visit students in their communities, who did not have access to the Internet, so they would not be left behind.The teachers from St James are Mrs Angela McFarlane, Providence Heights Infant School; Ms Tonian Campbell, grade-one teacher at Bogue Hill Primary School; and Mrs Fayonnie Stewart-McFarlane, head of the business department at Anchovy High School. For St Catherine, the teachers are Ms Kimone Dawkins, infant one senior teacher at Marlie Mount Primary School; Mrs Charmaine Downer Thomas, grade-two teacher and grade coordinator at Old Harbour Primary School, and Markodane Wright, religious education teacher and social studies senior teacher at Old Harbour High School. For Clarendon, the teachers are Ms Patra Johnson, infant-two teacher at Salt Savannah Primary & Infant School; Mrs Georgia Bissoon, grade-two teacher at Hayes Primary School, and Dushaine Loraine, teacher of visual arts at Bustamante High School.
Stewart-McFarlane thanked New Fortress Energy Foundation on behalf of the teachers. “We are humbled at the knowledge that a company has taken the initiative to award us for the hard work that we have selflessly displayed, and for that we are grateful and say a heartfelt thanks to New Fortress Energy Foundation. … Thanks as well to the Ministry of Education and Youth for this partnership that would have allowed us to be recognised in such an unexpected and amazing way today.”
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