Following the deaths of five educators over the past seven days, Education Minister Fayval Williams has expressed deep sadness and extended condolences to the immediate families and school communities of the teachers.
In a release today (May 17), Williams noted the passing of the following educators:
- Gregory Williams, Mathematics Lecturer at the Portmore Community College, who died on May 11
- Antoinette Banton-Ellis, Principal of the Vere Technical High School, who died on May 12
- Ann Marie Johnson Lindo, Vice Principal of the Duncans All-Age School in Trelawny who died on May 12
- Carlos Gordon, Grade 6 teacher at One Way Prep School who passed on May 14
- Donnalee Wright, of the Tarrant High School who passed on May 16
These deaths have been tragic blows to their families and, according to the education minister, “the sudden death of our teachers whose dedicated service covered the primary to the tertiary level has also been a big shock to the education system”.
She noted that Banton-Ellis gave 32 years of service to education, starting at the Cross Primary and Junior High as a pre-trained teacher and had worked at a number of other schools before joining Vere Technical High as Principal on October 1, 2017, where she served until her passing.
Gordon taught at the One Way Prep School for 16 years, covering Grades 4, 5 and 6.
Johnson Lindo, vice principal at the Duncans Primary and All-age since 2016, first joined the staff in 1998 and taught general subjects to grades 4, 5 and 6 with a special passion for Mathematics and Science.
Williams joined the staff of the Portmore Community College in September 2008 as an Assistant Lecturer. In 2016 he was appointed to the post of permanent lecturer. He taught Mathematics in the Associate Degree programmes at the College.
Wright taught English Language across several grades since 2019.
“Their inspirational guidance and dedicated service were well appreciated, especially in the discipline they brought to their subject areas and how they interacted with students, parents and colleague educators,” said Williams.
Representatives from the ministry’s Guidance and Counselling Unit have been meeting with the schools’ administrations, offering counselling and other support.