Published 24th August 2011, 1:3pm
A slate of new teachers was yesterday (Tuesday, 23 August) welcomed into the public education service during a special reception and orientation session.
Top officials welcomed the 29 educators, one of the largest tranches, who are assigned to primary and high schools throughout the Cayman Islands. They were treated to informative presentations and offered gifts and essential services at booths staffed by local banks, a communication provider, the Credit Union and the Department of Tourism.
Caymanian Janelle Tibbetts, a newly-qualified music teacher assigned to Clifton Hunter High School, said she is happy to be back home – having recently completed her teaching degree at Florida International University.
Another new recruit, Mr. Jaime Gabbidon of Jamaica, says he looks forward to making a difference in the lives of local children. He is the information communication technology teacher at Clifton Hunter.
Assistant Teacher Jodi Exctain Obando said she is excited to be continuing at East End Primary School, having worked at Red Bay Primary as a teacher’s aide for the past two years.
Learning Behaviour Specialist Denise McLaughlin of Scotland comes to Cayman after teaching in Hong Kong for the past two years, and is adjusting well to local living.
Offering words of encouragement and support, Education Minister the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, said, “One sign of a world-class education system is that it produces students who are excited about learning and excelling in life. When we do that, we have succeeded.”
A special welcome was also extended to a few local teachers who left the service for some time, but are now returning to the classroom.
Acknowledging the mix of nationalities within the group, Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler told the recruits, “There are few cities of 50,000 people with as diverse a population as ours, so the richness of your own experiences can be a tremendous resource.”
Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues spoke of the importance of striving for excellence, maintaining local standards and expectations. “This is one of the most challenging, but rewarding professions... give it your absolute, unqualified, best efforts,” she added.The four days of teacher sensitisation will continue with “cultural caravan” tours, and culminate with the national teacher orientation at the Mary Miller Memorial Hall this Friday.
The Department of Education Services has over 500 educators on staff.