The Principal of Petit Valley Boys’ RC, and President of the Association of Catholic Principals (ACP) Gregory Johnson died suddenly on the morning of Thursday, April 21 at his San Juan home. He was 54 years.
The news rippled through the education community and those who knew him mourned his passing.
According to a statement on the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page Johnson was a thirty year veteran of the Teaching Service, and took up his administrative post as Principal on May 28, 2012.
Carlene Hayes, the Principal of Sacred Heart RC, Caratal; ACP Treasurer, and President of the National Primary Schools Principals’ Association (NAPSA) was emotional as she spoke about her “very, very good friend” whom she got familiar with from 2013 when they were principals and attended various Catholic principals’ conferences.
She noted that he celebrated his birthday last September 20. Hayes related that principals came together in March for a physical conference for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020.
Hayes was in contact with Johnson daily and commented that on April 19, the first day of the new school term, they were discussing the Association’s Annual General Meeting set for May. He sent her a video the following day.
“Gregory was very caring, very affectionate, passionate about his job, [and] the boys at his school. He did his best to have good staff relations. They are all in shock…”
Hayes said Johnson supported her when she contested the post of President of the NAPSA. “He was just a person to support you.”
In a media release, the President of the Catholic Teachers’ Association (CTA) Kathleen Merhair-Gransam said the CTA was mourning their colleague’s passing.
She described Johnson as an “exceptional Catholic teacher, visionary leader, and genuine human being. Mr Johnson’s contribution to his students and his colleagues, was admired and would be greatly missed”.
The release stated Johnson became a teacher and educator on September 16, 1991. His career began at Belmont Boys’ RC as an Assistant Teacher (Primary). He continued his vocation at Our Lady of Laventille RC as a Teacher I and then Petit Valley Boys’ RC as Principal.
Johnson served as the Secretary of the National Primary Schools Football League. He was a lay minister at the St John the Baptist RC Church, San Juan and active in the parish’s men’s ministry.
He leaves to mourn his 85-year-old father Godfrey, and sister Sandra. —LPG