Retiring principal of the St. Stephen’s Primary School, Winona Price, was moved to tears this morning when students, past and present, staff and members of several affiliate associations paid her glowing tributes.
With a red carpet entry to the school this morning, Price was literally placed on a throne in the audience while tribute after tribute washed over her, at moments moving her to tears as she wiped eyes hidden behind dark shades.
As the school choir sang I Look To You, Price looked visibly moved as she tried to hold the tears at bay, and again when former student Mequissa Baptiste recalled how she had assisted her as a young pupil with some personal issues she was going through and then launched into a stirring rendition of Hallelujah.
The Infants and Lower Juniors paid tribute in poems, while others danced or dramatised their memories of Principal Price over her 14 years of service directly to the school.
Acting Principal, Michael Lewis, noted the occasion was both sad and glad, adding that over her tenure she had been able to oversee the growth and development of the institution which has become a household name.
“She has realised growth in academic achievement, cultural and social growth and sporting growth where there is now a pervasive winning spirit dominant among the average student here. I am sure that this growth and development was not accidental, but was achieved through dedication, hard work, long hours of useful planning and careful implementation and evaluation,” he said.
Youth Director of the regional Seventh Day Adventist Churches, Pastor Dale Haynes, recalled her being an invaluable member of her Checker Hall church congregation and also attributed some of the accurately kept records of the church to Price’s dedication to detail and excellent memory.
Likewise Education Officer Janice Reid referred to the retired principal as a friend and colleague, recalling her dedication as well.
“She touched lives, moulded characters, shaped personalities, and gave of herself for the benefit of her students and her staff,” Reid said.
The teachers, parents and especially the students, even MP for St. Lucy, Denis Kellman, also had fond memories to share, some of which saw Price exploding with the laughter, especially at moments during the school’s dramatic presentations of some of their treasured recollections of her.
She expressed her appreciation to all for the kind words and memories, as the gifts were exchanged and they were many, accompanied by accolades as the St. Stephen’s School said farewell to the principal they acknowledged would be surely missed. (LB)