CELEBRATION filled the air at Constant Spring Primary and Junior High School on Monday, as the institution observed its 50th anniversary and the start of the Easter term.
The jubilation, according to Acting Principal Michelle Wiggins, was justified as in her estimation the school had come a far way and staff was grateful to see its growth.
To mark the joyous occasion, the entrance was decorated with balloons of the school’s signature colours — yellow and blue — and a red carpet, which students and staff graced as they received a high five from the Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams to the song Jerusalema by Master KG.
Further, sharing a memorable moment throughout her 31 years of service to the institution, past principal of the school, Nellie Boxe, noted that the literacy improvement was a major accomplishment.
She said when she became principal in 2010, the literacy rate for grade four students moved from about 35 per cent to 86 per cent.
“I have been here from 1987 and when I became principal in 2010 and realised that the literacy rate was about 35 per cent, I asked the teachers of grade four to give some time to teaching the students both in maths and in language arts and I taught even as principal,” she said.
“When we got the results, it was published in the papers and we got 86 per cent from about 35 per cent and I think that was really a memorable moment because together, we saw what we were able to achieve, by giving a little extra time to teaching,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams, who commended the school on their milestone, also encouraged students to obey the school rules and maintain COVID-19 protocols.
“This school serves communities that are vulnerable communities; communities in which tough things happen sometimes and for it to be here thriving and surviving, it is the school of choice in the area and that is something to celebrate,” she said.
“Students, I am expecting that you will be following in the footsteps of those who graduated, gone on to high school, gone on to college to become leaders in Jamaica, leaders in other parts of the world,” added Williams.
“We are still experiencing COVID. We have been hearing more news stories about COVID-19 all over the world and I just want to encourage you students to remember what you have learnt about hand washing at school and home, we want to increase your awareness, so that we are able to continue school in the face-to face mode,” she said.
In the meantime, past and present leaders of the institution expressed gratitude for the school’s performance over the years, while predicting more growth and achievements.
“We continue to persevere for excellence. We have excellent teachers at this institution, awesome admin and axillary staff, lovely parents, brilliant students and of course we continue to blaze the trail of excellence,” said the school’s Principal Shay Dillon during the back-to-school welcome devotion.
The school will engage in a church service on January 28, followed by other events such as a banquet and open day for its 50th anniversary celebration.
Formerly an all-age institution, the Constant Spring Primary and Junior High School was established in 1973. Currently the school houses 650 students.