Staff and students of the Roland Edwards Primary School have been challenged to build a legacy of excellence on the firm foundation laid by outgoing Principal and veteran educator, Michael Watson.
During a celebration of Watson’s dedicated service in the profession, he was showered with tributes and serenaded by sweet renditions from former colleagues and students, respectively.
As he prepared to sail off into the sunset of retirement, he was remembered as an educator who was firm, but fair, and dedicated to his work for the approximately 43 years he served.
In 1975, Watson was assigned to the Speightstown Boys’ School where he taught for several years. On the 31st of August 1990, he was appointed and promoted as a senior teacher and on May 1st, 1998 was transferred to the Ministry of Education as a project manager.
According to Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Technology and Vocational Training, Eldeana Coppin-Armstrong, Watson’s work as a teacher began with his peers, while studying as a student at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College.
“The character of Mr Watson was such that he wanted to win. He was a determined and talented person and he would get together and help the weaker teachers with their work and help them to pass their courses. That was a good characteristic which many should seek to emulate,” she said.
Watson’s greatest professional achievement came in August 2000, when he was appointed Principal of the Roland Edwards Primary School.
“Here is where he gave of his best. He was committed to the cause and all of these early characteristics were exemplified during his tenure,” said the education officer.
Turning to the retired Principal, she added: “Mr Watson, you have given of your time, patience and you have been enduring. You have stayed the course and the Ministry of Education wants to thank you.”
In his remarks, Acting Principal Mr George Francis acknowledged that Mr Watson’s legacy has left large shoes to fill.
“Over 20 years as an administrator is not 20 days, and the foundation built by Mr Watson cannot be shaken. It is therefore a privilege for those of us who follow to continue to build on, extend or renovate on this foundation and with God’s grace, to ensure this legacy remains,” he challenged.
In her featured address, Sheryll Griffith, a former colleague in the teaching profession remembered and admired Watson for his ability to transfer his ideals of excellence onto his children.
“From the Speightstown Boys’ School to the Roland Edwards Primary School, Mr Watson continued to ensure that his students strove for and achieved a level of excellence, whether it was in the classroom, on the playing field, in music or in poetry competitions; he ensured that students displayed excellent behaviour at all times.”
The retired educator is currently a coach in management and leadership courses at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College where he continues to leave his mark. (KS)