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Dr. Cecile Walden Lauded


Permalink 04:03:46 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Education, Commentary, News

Dr. Cecile Walden Lauded

I have for a long time believed that, our community leaders who have made a great impact on the country and the community should be rewarded not when they have left us and can no longer accept the award, but while they are still able to keep helping their community and are able to appreciate the awards they have gotten. This is not to say that everybody who has ever planted a tree deserves an award, but certainly those few people who's contributions have been immeasureable certainly need to be recognized. It is for this reason that I can say that I was very pleased with the decision of Sam Sharpe Teachers' College to have an appreciation ceremony for the woman who has served as principal of the college for the better part of a quarter of a century and as an educator for 41 years, this woman is Dr. Cecile Walden.

Dr. Cecile Walden**Taken from the Jamaica Gleaner

Starting out as a teacher at the Cornwall College in Montego Bay, she rose through the ranks to become a lecturer at the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College(SSTC) and then became the principal of the College. During this time she always ensured that she kept in tune with the Jamaican culture, and she took up the post as Managing Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission for 4 years. However she left the post at the JCDC to return to being the full time principal of the SSTC, a post which she held until retirement last year. On the way there she attained an Honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy from the Central Connecticut State University in 2004, and also was awarded the Order of Distinction (the 5th highest national award in Jamaica) of the Commander Class. She has also been integral in the formation of the Consortium of Institutions for Teacher Education (CITE) an organization which seeks to monitor the standards that are used by all the Teachers' Colleges in Jamaica, and also seeks to implement a 4 year degree programme in these Colleges.

Her citation described her as the "epitome of determination", and messages from other dignitaries such as our Prime Minister stated that:

Dr Walden embodies the finest tradition of the teaching profession. She is committed, compassionate and resourceful. A mentor to young and old alike; she has consistently upheld the standard of 'service above self' - Andrew Holness Minister of Education


She has left a legacy of achievement based on excellence, hard work and commitment and is deserving of commendation - Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen

However throughout this time she has worked tirelessly to help the advancement of the college and its surrounding community of Granville, St. James, always ensuring that the college assisted in community development. One such initiative involved the setting up of a music programme for children in the community to learn to play music and gain a skill which may help them in life.

The awards programme itself was set up according to the wishes of Dr. Walden which meant that it wasn't one which involved lots of talking and praise, but was instead filled with lots of performances from the community band, her former Cornwall College student AJ Brown, Karen Smith, and the SSTC group performing a multitude of cultural songs such as a 'brukings' piece, among many other performances that did manage to really entertain the crowd. The programme culminated in a literally passing of the torch as Dr. Walden passed on the title of Principal to Dr. Pinnock who will have to now step into the fairly large shoes which have been left for him to fill.

The Principal's 3 of Sam Sharpe teacher college**From Jamaica Observer

Dr. Walden's impact will surely be felt for many years to come as she continues even in retirement to help the Jamaican education system in anyway she can. I am also happy to know that Sam Sharpe has seen it fit to praise her for the work that she has done, and am proud to call her my Aunt Cecile.

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."


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