Teachers and students of the Coleridge and Parry School have been rocked by the tragic loss of Cornelius Barrow who perished in a fire with his two infant children on Wednesday.
This morning when Barbados TODAY visited the St Peter-based institution; several distraught members of staff and teary-eyed students were receiving counselling sessions as they struggled to come to grips with the death of Barrow who has been described as a dedicated teacher who was involved in all aspects of the school community.
Deputy Principal Captain Rodney Millington said Barrow has always been consistent as it relates to his punctuality and attendance, in addition to being a reliable individual with whom students worked closely.
“He was a very keen and caring individual who would have spoken to students who had a particular need or challenge. He would have sorted out those students if they had any difficulty. He helped them through counselling and any other thing. He will be missed here at the Coleridge and Parry School,” Captain Millington said.
The Deputy Principal said that Barrow, who was an English teacher, worked with students assiduously both in and out of the classroom. Captain Millington noted that Barrow’s latest project would have been establishing a student council at the school. He also worked with students in the capacity as a cadet officer, and assisted graduating classes.
“He was seen as the school photographer. He took photos at the graduation, took photos of students if asked by the principal. He volunteered to assist with getting the student council off the ground. So in terms of not only his professional career in terms of the teaching of English, he was involved in all aspects of the school life,” Captain Millington said.
“He was a team player. The interaction between him and members of staff was a very good one, and that is ancillary, support staff and teaching staff. He and the staff got along very well. He was often in the office. He would be very early making his requests to get things copied.
A hurting 14-year-old Makayla White sat on a bench on the school compound weeping. She told members of the media that she and other students were looking forward to attending a meeting with Barrow to put plans in place for the student council.
“He was a good person. If you wanted somebody to talk to, you could talk to him. He was funny. He was a good teacher. Only sometimes he would get strict, but he was cool.
“I wake up and my mother told me what happened and I was like, ‘she can’t be serious’. And then I just see people posting things on Facebook. We were supposed to have a student council meeting today, but then all of this happened. . . I just don’t understand this,” White said.
Officials from the Ministry of Education were at the school to offer the school community support.
Chairman of the Board Canon Curtis Goodridge, the Rector of St Lucy’s Parish Church, was also present.