Tribute to education icon Joanna Clarke

| 10/01/2019
CNS Local Life

Joanna Clarke

(CNS Local Life): The Ministry and Department of Education have paid tribute to long-time educator Joanna Clarke who passed away Christmas Eve, noting her great service and how much she will be missed. “The contribution that Ms Joanna Clarke made to education in the Cayman Islands is immeasurable, her impact on the lives of thousands of students indelible,” said Minister for Education Juliana O’Connor-Connolly in a press release.

“As an educator, a colleague, a citizen, a friend, she set a standard to which we all should aspire. We are all better for having known her and worked with her. She will be sorely missed.”

Clarke’s legacy was immortalised in 2007 with the establishment of the Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award by her former student, Don Seymour of DMS. He, like many of the island’s notable professionals, have “benefitted from the experience and expertise of this esteemed educator”, the release added.

“Ms Clarke loved all her students; she had a voracious passion for teaching and learning and did whatever it took to ensure that her students were successful,” the release stated, adding that “under her leadership, character building played an instrumental role in education”.

Clarke came here in 1964 on a two-year secondment from the Ministry of Education in Jamaica, leading to a 50-year relationship with the Cayman Islands. Her first appointment was at the George Town Primary School where she worked for three years, followed by a promotion to principal at Savannah Primary School where she served for 16 years. In 1983 she was promoted to language arts curriculum officer for primary and middle schools assigned to the Department of Education Services (DES).

Among her contributions to education in the Cayman Islands were the introduction of Reading Week and the Annual Book Fair, the annual standardised reading test and adult education classes at the DES.

The statement also noted, “This consummate professional worked diligently and dutifully for the Department of Education, for 30 sterling years under four chief education officers before retiring in 1994” and said that Clarke continued to share her passion for shaping young minds as the education programme coordinator at the Young Parents Programme for another 14 years.

“The Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services celebrate the life of this exemplary educator,” the release said. “Joanna Faith Clarke has left a legacy for students, parents and teachers in the Cayman Islands to emulate. Her work will live on forever as we salute her for her untiring, committed, and outstanding service of 44 years in education in the Cayman Islands.”

Read the full tribute here

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Category: Education

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