Thursday, August 20, 2009

School Improvements

CESEP Presentation: George Town Primary School Principal Marie Martin presents a copy of Culture, Education and Drug Free Sport: A Child’s Perspective to Ministry of Education Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues (left).

George Town Primary School was one of a number of learning institutions getting a facelift. As the Ministry of Education prepares for the start of the new school year, management staff members are making their final readiness checks. Ministry of Education, Training and Employment Facilities Manager, Tommy Ebanks, explained that a programme of maintenance and minor capital works was scheduled for each school during the summer, following consultation with principals and sign off by the Chief Education Officer. His team is now conducting a final round of readiness checks.

Mr Ebanks and the Ministry’s Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues recently met with George Town Primary Principal, Marie Martin. They inspected several improvements made to the site over the summer. The work included a new modular staff room; a freshly-paved play area and relocated playground; covered walkways from the bus park to the school, and covered walkways and ramps connecting all modular units to the main school. The school’s buildings are also being repainted. Additional priorities were also identified for completion before the school year begins. A private office will be created for the principal with an adjoining reception area and conference room, once the staff room is relocated. A small classroom will be converted to serve as a dedicated sick bay which will also double as a counselling room. And an additional sanded playground area will be added at the back, on the old school site. “I am quite pleased with the improvements and the school is well maintained and kept clean,” Ms Martin said. “At George Town Primary we don’t use challenges as excuses to avoid moving forward. It’s not the facilities that make for success; it’s our human resources, our staff, who make the difference.” The leadership and staff of George Town Primary have been commended on many occasions for the quality of education and care they provide, particularly following the school’s most recent inspection report.

Construction of a new George Town Primary School began last year, but was later terminated by the previous government due to limited funds. Given the current economic climate, those funding challenges remain. However, Mrs Rodrigues noted that despite this situation, the Ministry is committed to making wise investments with the funds available. “We want to ensure that all students are being educated in a safe environment that is conducive to learning. And an effective maintenance programme is a critical part of that goal,” she said. “An audit on school facilities, completed in June this year, will be converted into customised maintenance plans that address the specific needs of each school. However, as we have many aging facilities, a long-term plan for the development of new school facilities will need to be undertaken in the near future.” (Source: Cayman Net News, Aug. 20, 2009)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour

Governor Stuart Jack has named our very own principal, Ms. Marie Martin, to receive the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour (Cert. Hon.) in recognition of Ms. Martin's outstanding contributions to Education and the Community. Ms. Martin's career began over 31 years ago at Spot Bay Primary School. As current principal of George Town Primary, despite the many challenges that the school continues to face as a result of Hurricane Ivan (2004), Ms. Martin continues to lead the teachers and students to great success in academics, sports, the Arts, and the Community. Congratulations Ms. Martin for earning this prestigious honour!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cayman Islands Better Futures Project Winners!

The 13 winning entries, selected from a total of 61 pieces submitted, for the 2010 "If I had One Wish" Calendar were recently announced. Featured in the calendar will be the work of 5 of our very gifted Year 3 George Town Primary Artists. In no particular order, our 5 winning entries:

If I had one wish I would wish to be a pop star. I like singing and dancing alot. I am now training to be a tap and ballet dancer. (Charlotte Marnoch, Year 3)

If I had one wish I would wish to be a professional drummer. I can go all around the world and play music and entertain a lot of people. (Teodoro Padua, Year 3)

If I had one wish I would be a veterinarian. I can help animals all around the world. I can also make the world a safe place for the animals. (Teodora Padua, Year 3)

If I had one wish I wish to be a teacher. I want to see what it was like when my teacher was teaching me. I would also want to educate children and make a difference in their lives. (Sasha Richardson, Year 3)

If I had one wish I wish to be an artist. An artist can make people happy through paintings. I can also use art to express myself. (Josette Facey, Year 3)