Golden Apple Awards finalists named

| 16/05/2018
CNS Local Life

Nimmi Sekhar will be receiving a lifetime achievement award

(CNS Local Life): A dozen local and influential educators have been selected as finalists for the 2018 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and will be recognised for their achievements. The awards – which are run by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ministry of Education – have been re-introduced after a five-year hiatus.

“On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce I would like to congratulate all of the finalists on this outstanding achievement,” said chamber president Paul Byles, in a press release.

“We received over 500 nominations from the community, so to be included on these shortlists is no small feat. We are very much looking forward to celebrating the achievements of these educators at the gala, and we wish everyone the very best of luck.”

The final winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony which takes place Saturday, 26 May from 6pm at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

The finalists for the 2018 Golden Apple Awards are:

Primary School Teacher (Public)

Shakeina Bush – Her work at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School extends beyond the classroom. Her sense of community with her students comes from serving as the vice president of the Motorcross Association, girls primary school coach, afterschool Chess Club leader, Girls National Team coach, and CIFA chairwoman for female football. In the classroom, her behavioural techniques have ensured all students are taught in ways which are most effective for them.

Heather Thompson – Having taught for just under five years, Thompson has quickly become one of the most respected teachers in the community. The Lighthouse School teacher was ranked as exemplary on the Teaching and Learning Observation rating scale in 2017, and was also awarded Cayman First Classroom of the Month award in March of the same year.

Primary School Teacher (Private)

Emily Garvey – For 13 years Garvey has enriched the lives of her students with her outstanding communications skills. The St Ignatius Catholic School teacher has successfully and effectively altered her teaching skills to the modern day, and by combining social media with her teaching techniques, she has created an engaging and timely educational style.

Asynthia Lewis – Currently a primary school teacher at First Baptist Christian School, Lewis’ nearly two-decade long career has seen her contribute greatly to world of education. For nearly 15 years she has helped students to learn through different media, including auditory, visual and kinaesthetic styles.

High School Teacher (Public)

Denise Colquhoon – She began her career as an educator over two-and-a-half decades ago, and currently serves as the head of the Life Skills Department at Clifton Hunter High School, where she is responsible for updating the schemes of work for Key Stage 3, and the development of a curriculum for Key Stage 4. She has also contributed to the lives of many students by serving as a Student Council advisor.

Patrice Hanson – The John Gray High School teacher has consistently been rated as exceptional in her annual performance appraisals, and her exemplary work is reflected on the outstanding results of her students. Most recently, 100% of her year 11 class (who sat their exams early) passed. Hanson has also ensured that her students feel emotionally and socially secure, and her level of trust and respect in the classroom is unrivalled.

High School Teacher (Private)

Bill LaMonte – He has been teaching science for 17 years, and has since been recognised as a National Board Certified Science Teacher. His exemplary work also saw LaMonte become the lead teacher of the science department at Cayman International School.

Coaine Richards – for almost two decades Coaine Richards has been teaching mathematics to students. Since September 2013, he has served as a mathematics teacher and the sixth-form mathematics coordinator at St Ignatius Catholic High School, where he has prepared students aged 11-19 for their external examinations. He also serves as the gifted and talented coordinator, and the assistant pastoral head with academic oversight for Years 7 & 8.

Principal (Public & Private)

Marcia Rennie – The Edna M. Moyle Primary School principal considers herself a life-long learner, always honing her craft through courses, professional development and intensive research. She has emphasised the importance of holistic development of children, placing importance on the exploration of arts and sports alongside academia. Under her leadership the school implemented the PBIS (Positive Behavioural Interventions and Support) which has had significant and positive impacts in the classroom.

Mable Richardson – With over 25 years of experience, Richardson is a well-known name in the local community. The Triple C School principal has overseen significant growth of the oldest elementary and secondary school in the Cayman Islands, with the student capacity growing almost twice in size in the last decade.

April Tibbetts – Her career in the education system has spanned a decade. She began as a classroom teacher, working her way through the ranks to become principal of West End Primary.

In addition, Nimmi Sekhar will be recognised at the ceremony with a lifetime achievement award. The vice principal of early childhood and elementary at Cayman International School will be recognised for her outstanding contributions to education, having spent almost 30 years serving as an educator. Sekhar’s career started at the Faulkner Academy, which later became Cayman International School.

The final winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony which takes place on Saturday, 26 May from 6pm at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Tickets, which are available for purchase at $50 per person, can be ordered by calling 949-8090 or by emailing the chamber


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Category: Education

Comments (1)

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  1. David “Benjy” Holmes says:

    Congratulations to each teacher in the list!