The outstanding achievements of former student of The Ellerslie School, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies, Professor, The Most Honourable, Violet Eudine Barriteau, shows that it is not the school you attend that determines your success, but the amount of hard work you put in.
This was the assertion of Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, as she joined the management, staff and students of The Ellerslie School in honouring Professor Barriteau by naming the school’s auditorium after her during a ceremony yesterday. It is now the V. Eudine Barriteau Auditorium.
She attended the school from 1968 to 1972, when it was the Ellerslie Comprehensive School.
“I want all students in Barbados to see what you can achieve with hard work. I want all students in Barbados to see that it does not matter what school you attended. That does not determine your fate in life, but it is what you do while at school that really matters.
“In the next few weeks, the results of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination will be released. Some students will get their wish, while some may fall a little short in terms of what they may have wished in terms of where they wanted to go. But my charge to all students now is to go to the assigned school and do your best from day one,” Ms. Bradshaw emphasised.
The Education Minister said the naming of the auditorium after Professor Barriteau marked “a distinctive and special day in the history of The Ellerslie School” because of her exceptional achievements in the field of education.
The UWI Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal migrated to Barbados from Grenada in 1968. It was not long after enrolling at the Ellerslie Comprehensive School that her academic prowess became evident.
She excelled in academics and was a fearless debater; tumbling perceived ‘giants’ of the day from some of the more prestigious schools.
“From Ellerslie, she went on to attend four universities. She is a publisher of several works and is now also holding the highest office of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, as the Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal.
“These are all significant achievements for this daughter of The Ellerslie School; a daughter who have never forgotten her alma mater. I know it is not by chance that with the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies, The Ellerslie School has also been blazing a trail in the teaching of Mandarin,” Ms. Bradshaw told those in attendance.
Professor Barriteau called the occasion a “simultaneously exhilarating and humbling” experience.
“Never in my wildest dreams when I stood outside there, before the hall was erected, did I ever imagine an occasion such as this. I wish my mother was alive to celebrate this today since I am so much a product of her sacrifices and values. Ellerslie Comprehensive School provided me with a secondary education that became the foundation for all that I achieved later in life.
“As Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, I seek to create opportunities for students, fully aware of the multiple doors that were open to me. So today, I say to [Principal] Lt. Col. Errol Brathwaite, the Board of Management, all the members of staff and the current students, ‘thank you’. I am humbled and I am extremely grateful,” Professor Barriteau stated.