Sharon Mangroo, Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) visited Presentation College, San Fernando on Wednesday, January 12 to distribute awards to staff members who performed duties way beyond their normal routines during the period March 2020 and December 2021.
A total of ten staffers comprising members of the teaching and non-academic staff received awards, based on the recommendations of the school’s administration.
The Teacher of the Year Award went to Terrence John – T111, IT and Vidya Sookdeo – T111, Mathematics.
John led and supported the College’s transformation to its online environment when schools were closed in March 2020. He facilitated training to all staff in using the various online platforms and made himself accessible to lend technical support to all who needed it.
He went on to train all the staff members in the use of Microsoft Teams and was utilised by the Ministry of Education and the CEBM to train teachers across the nation and the Caribbean region.
Many individual schools also utilised his services to train their staff and he was also a support lead in the Commonwealth of Learning training course for teachers in the roll-out of online teaching and learning.
Vidya Sookdeo was named as the second Teacher of the Year for leading and supporting the social welfare of students during the pandemic.
Sookdeo sought those students who were falling through the cracks, those who did not have devices or internet connectivity at their homes; who lacked schoolbooks; whose parents were retrenched and with little or no income and needed basic foodstuff.
Sookdeo identified those students and brought them to the attention of the school administration who, with the tremendous assistance of stakeholders (alumni, parents, the business community, the San Fernando City Corporation, Atlantic LNG) were able to bring relief to several students and their families.
Sunil Seenath was named ‘Employee of the Year’. Seenath is attached to the College’s office and has myriad responsibility for printing and other general duties, in addition to his role as Building Supervisor in charge of the maintenance and overseeing security operations.
During the lockdown, Seenath continued to ensure that all operations ran smoothly, the school plant maintained, and he used the opportunity to do much needed repairs to the facility.
‘Departments of the Year 2020/2021’ were the ICT Department and the Security Department.
The ICT Department comprised teachers Terrence John and Ramesh Sookoor, ICT Technician Frazan Abdool, and Jude Julien, our AV Technician.
This department facilitated a seamless transition to the online environment. Sookoor had developed the school database system, allowing for information to be easily accessed by students and parents, including termly reports.
Abdool was instrumental in managing the distribution of devices that were donated to the College to loan to deserving students and assisted both students and staff with repairs to devices and technical assistance. He also ensured that CCTV coverage was operationalised and monitoring of the compound via mobile phones was a reality.
Julien ensured that all systems were in place for livestreaming of assemblies and other school-related functions including the livestreaming of classes from the compound for those teachers who had connectivity issues at their homes.
The Security Department, during the initial lockdown, performed duties way beyond the norm. They became the eyes, ears, and hands of the school administration during that period.
They voluntarily cleaned the compound, received packages, and distributed packages to students and the general public during that period. In the initial stages of the reopening, they continued to be the main face of the college, doing most of the interaction with the general public on behalf of the college’s administration. The officers include: Ray Patterson, Shawn Cooper, Lawrence Shah, and Richard Kissoon.
Mangroo congratulated all awardees and thanked them for their selfless service. She said that the Board and the Archdiocese recognise their contribution and are indeed indebted to them. She thanked the school administration for motivating its staff and pledged continued support.
She spoke to the college’s multi-prong approach, with everyone supporting and contributing to the success of the students, citing selfless service as one of the true hallmarks of Catholic education.
Photos were taken for the school’s virtual prize day which will be launched later this month. The Chairman and Managing Director of RBC is expected to deliver the feature address.
—Presentation College, San Fernando