Ten local educators have been inducted into the RF Merchant Bank & Trust (Barbados) Ltd. National Distinguished Teachers’ Awards Hall of Fame.
Those teachers, who have been recognised for their contribution to education in Barbados at the 2021 virtual ceremony held on March 16, are: Tanya Browne – Thelma Berry Nursery; Tiffany Scantlebury – Eden Lodge Nursery; Pauline Hinds – Roland Edwards Primary School; Stephan Walker – Charles F. Broome Memorial; Gillian Cadogan – Eagle Hall Primary School; Suzette Blair – Wesley Hall Junior School; Andrea Baptiste – The Ellerslie School; Fay Williams – Government Industrial School; Joy-Ann Smith-O’Connor – St. George Secondary School, and Philippa Brereton-Selby – Daryll Jordan Secondary School.
In her congratulatory remarks, Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, expressed her gratitude to RF Merchant Bank & Trust (Barbados) Ltd. for hosting the programme.
Noting that there has been a shift in public sentiment towards teachers, Dr. Bradshaw expressed: “One of my desires is that we change that seemingly developing trend of disrespect towards our teachers. Let us respect them for their hard work; let us respect them for their ability to be nimble in the face of COVID.
“Let us respect them for their ability to persevere in a difficult classroom. Let us respect our teachers for their ability to make our students learn something, so that they can achieve their full potential, holding their heads high, because they are imbued with values that make them proud Barbadian citizens.”
Also speaking at the virtual ceremony was RF Merchant Bank & Trust (Barbados) Ltd.’s President and CEO, Jillian Nunes, who encouraged the winners to use the skills and knowledge gained during their careers to teach and inspire future educators.
“We need more teachers like you who represent all that the RF National Distinguished Teachers Awards stands for. Teachers who inspire enthusiastic learners and help to foster academic excellence and high levels of achievement in their students; who positively contribute to the community in and outside of the classroom; who model personal responsibility, commitment and resilience, and who are willing to pivot, to be flexible and do whatever it takes to create the best possible outcomes for their students,” she said.
Each inductee received a commemorative trophy and $2,000.00. The St. Leonard’s Boys’ School, which submitted the most nominations, was the recipient of a school development project prize and received $2,000.00.
The awards, established in 2010, are held each year by the RF Merchant Bank & Trust (Barbados) Ltd., in association with the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, to acknowledge the immense contribution teachers make towards Barbados’ development from nursery to tertiary level.
The winners are nominated by parents, students and other community members, and shortlisted by the Blue Ribbon Judging Panel, which comprises retired educators. To date, the programme has awarded over $200,000 in prizes to local teachers.