BVI News

ESHS dominate Education Awards

ESHS Principal, Sandy Underhill (centre) is photographed with Premier Dr D Orlando Smith (left) and Education Minister Myron Walwyn during the Stars in Education Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 21. (Photo provided).

Joyce Samuel Primary and Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) have both reclaimed their titles as School of the Year for the primary and secondary levels, respectively.

Those schools, as well as top-performing educators across the territory, received recognition during the Stars in Education Awards ceremony at the Tortola Pier Park on Saturday, April 21.

In usual fashion, ESHS dominated the awards ceremony by taking home the most awards.

ESHS Principal, Sandy Underhill reclaimed the secondary school ‘Principal of the Year’ award.

Elmore Stoutt High’s Leticia Penn-Rodgers was named Assistant Principal of the Year for secondary schools, while her colleague Magdalene Barzey was given the Teacher of the Year in the same category.

Natasha Marshall of ESHS was also awarded Student Support Educator of the Year.

Top educators in other schools

Other educators awarded were Althea Scatliffe Primary School’s Marieta Headley and Ronda Smith who won the primary-level Principal of the Year, and Assistant Principal of the Year, respectively.

Shaniqua Vanterpool of Ivan Dawson Primary School was awarded Teacher of the Year at the primary level.

Francis Lettsome Primary School’s Susan Gregg was named Early Childhood Educator of the Year, while Carl Barrette of Bregado Flax Educational Centre was the Physical Education Educator of the Year.

Shaunice Leonard of Alexandria Maduro Primary and Francis Lettsome Primary won the award for best Guidance Counsellor of the Year.

I saw teachers become construction workers

While acknowledging the efforts of local educators during the last and current academic years, Education Minister Myron Walwyn applauded their performance.

“Despite the ravages caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria and the effect that it has had on the territory, financial and otherwise, it was more important than ever before, for us in the Ministry to still hold this recognition ceremony and cocktail reception for you our teachers,” Walwyn said.

“I saw teachers who became janitors, construction workers, garbage collectors — teachers who just did whatever needed to be done to get their schools ready within the timeline that was given. Even though many of your homes suffered significant damage, you left yourself undone to provide for your students.”

“This territory owes each of you a debt of gratitude and on behalf of the government and the people of the Virgin Islands, I say thank you to each and every one of you,” he added.


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  1. George says:

    The school might have some unruly kids but the teachers and students generally out-perform every one else in the territory. Say what you want but ESHS knows how to get results

  2. College student says:

    Hm I wonder which is better having a smart unruly child or dumb well behaved one …

    • @College Student says:

      Intelligence can carry one only so far. I would much rather hire a less smart person with good behaviour and attitude. Character is critical.

      Congratulations to all the teachers.

  3. Truth says:

    The BVI has always performed well in education and we must thank all our forefathers and present educators for all everyone has done.

  4. Huh says:

    Politics as usual

  5. Hero says:

    The criteria for choosing these teachers is not fair to other teachers. Why not award all teachers or choose a different grade every year. Most teachers work their butts off. The schools on the western end who have to stand in water when it rains should be awarded. The teachers who show up everyday despite feeling sick. The teachers who give extra help after school should be awarded. The teachers who ALL worked after Irma should be awarded. Find a different way instead of awarding the same people!!!!!

  6. Ch says:

    Congrats to you Shaunice! Keep it up!

  7. jvd says:

    dem 4get v ovah yah?

  8. My 2 cents says:

    Who was Underhill up against?

  9. My 2 cents says:

    And the winners from the outer schools were????

    • Same every year says:

      Nobody… Anegada had the ONLY fully functional school after the storms and they have been working their butts off .. Guess that´s not good enough if you are not on the mainland you don’t count

  10. ,SMH says:

    Aye sipping muh tea!????

  11. Hmmm says:

    God doesn’t sleep. He is watching.

  12. Congratulations says:

    I guess the two sisters are tag teaming together. Go Girls.

  13. Morale says:

    Congrats to those who shine in the moment, but Godspeed to those who continuously show up, put up and have NOT given up.

    Teachers should be awarded tokens/ medals of appreciation for longevity, resourcefulness, innovation, team work, regularity, professionalism (attire, preparedness, student and peer engagement). This ceremony should not be a competition where only one shines at a time, but a moment to be acknowledged, appreciated and encouraged to continue doing the little and big things that keep the education system working.

    Many believe that teaching is a thankless job as it is, so if the ministry can spread the thanks a little wider, morale will grow deeper and performance will stretch a bit further. Currently, the message being sent is that the teachers and principals who don’t win awards year after year are not performing well enough. This simply is not the case.

    Before the hurricanes, many were already operating on fumes and they continued after, in the face of destruction and hardships in their personal and professional lives. Please try to empower the many rather than celebrate the few. Educators need to be encouraged.

  14. Time will tell says:

    Are the Private school teachers and principals not a part of educating our BVI children?

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