Recognising the many challenges teachers have faced in the classroom over the last two years, owing to school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Insurance Company of the West Indies Limited (ICWI) on Monday (May 9) sought to honour some of the island’s outstanding teachers.
Thanks to assistance from the Jamaican public, the company was able to select three teachers who had been nominated by their students for a special honour.
These teachers were in the persons of Ann-Marie Stanford of Ocho Rios Primary School, Gaylia Gayle of Marcus Garvey Technical High School and Patricia Gillings of Muschett High School.
As a prerequisite for consideration, each of the teachers received a special endorsement from one of their students, outlining just what makes them outstanding representatives of the teaching profession.
The ICWI honoured each teacher with cash prizes from J$50,000 and upwards.
First-place winner Ann-Marie Stanford received J$100,000, second-place winner Gaylia Gayle received J$75,000 and third-place winner Patricia Gilling walked away with a J$50,000 cash prize.
During the awards ceremony, specially invited guests were treated to excerpts from submissions written by students on the special impact each of the nominated teachers had had in their lives.
For his part, ICWI President Paul Lalor informed attendees that “teachers really do have the power to change the world and therefore it is important that we celebrate with them, encourage them and acknowledge the work that they have done to make sure that our kids, our future leaders, are moulded into the right form to make sure that our country and our world goes forward as best as it can”.
Lalor added: “For ICWI we are a family company and we know it takes a village to raise a child and we want to be a part of that village. We want to encourage our teachers to use us in the best way that they can to make sure they are able to achieve the things they so desperately want to achieve with our children.”