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St Bernadette’s pays tribute to beloved teacher

‘Energetic’, ‘positive’ and ‘mentor’ were some of the words used to describe Rosalie Jacob, who has 36 years of experience teaching at Holy Faith Preparatory (St Bernadette’s), St Ann’s.

Her extensive portfolio included teaching Junior Infants, Senior Infants, serving as Vice Principal for 20 years and in the capacity of Principal before her retirement.

On July 6, St Bernadette’s welcomed past pupils, past teachers, parents, and current students to pay homage to a woman who has devoted her life to the holistic development of her students.

Standard Five students sang a song and recited poetry. The Junior Infants, Senior Infants and Standard One students mesmerised the audience as they sang ‘I have a Dream’. They received a standing ovation.

Standards Four and Five students combined to perform ‘You Raise Me Up’ as Standard Five student, Kori Pierre, danced during their performance. Standards Two and Three eloquently recited a poem acclaiming Jacob’s contributions to the school. The poem was written by Shelly-Ann Elms, a Standard Three teacher. Another noteworthy performance came from Standard Five student, Chantal Blanc as she sang ‘Never Enough’.

Nadia St Hillaire-Thomas, the Junior Infants class teacher, moved the audience to tears as she sang Whitney Houston’s ‘I will always love you.’

The tribute speech was given by Colette Daniel, the Standard Two class teacher. Daniel referred to Jacob as being more than a Vice Principal and a colleague. “She’s a true friend, a true steward who devoted her time, talents, and treasures to this institution.”

Parents were given the opportunity to say a few words. Darryl Duke said that Jacob embodies energy and positivity. “She’s a very spiritual person and she’s a true Trini at heart.” Jessie-Marie Chaves said, “Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her and everything she does comes straight from the heart –her love for this school, love for her colleagues and love for our children. You have touched generations.”

Jacob expressed her gratitude to all staff and parents for their hard work. “Thank you for the support and friendship shared over the years. The special gift of your presence is the greatest gift of all. Covid taught us to appreciate life even more.”

She stated that the Standard Five class will be the strongest generation since they have endured a lot of changes due to the pandemic. “You all will come out resilient. Congratulations on passing SEA….Give always without remembering. Always receive without forgetting.”

Jacob ended, “St Bernadette’s will always have an extra special place in my heart. This tribute is something I will never forget.”

-Tenisha Sylvester, teacher