On the up and up
St Leonard’s Boys’ School has defied the odds and like the phoenix has risen.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones expressed satisfaction with the Richmond Gap, St Michael school after attending the official opening of the spanking new auditorium Wednesday evening.
Jones said the school had raised its profile and had much of which to be proud.
“This school has gone through some challenges over the past few years,” he said, “so I am extremely pleased that I have seen the school settle down. I have seen productivity and seen young men feel proud about themselves and their achievements.”
Jones said the school had defied every obstacle in its way.
“The commissioning of an auditorium of some quality and then to see the youngsters singing, dancing and being involved in drama, is really good. We have had heavy criticism of young men in Barbados and this is a school with a roll of 1 065 that has had tremendous criticism.
“Sometimes it is the criticism, the accusations you might get, some fairly, some unfairly, the challenges, which can cause you to rise. I think that this school has begun to really rise.”
The minister credited principal Joseph King for playing a major role in the school’s turnaround that has seen it making a mark in academic, sporting, artistic and cultural spheres.
“The principal has obviously re-ignited the passion among staff, and has continued along the path set by Desmond Browne, who was here in the transition period.”
Jones also praised the work of Andrew Lokey, director of the 100-member St Leonard’s Choir, which performed during the ceremony along with nine-time calypso monarch Red Plastic Bag, the Recorder Consort, the Big Band directed by Pernell Farley, and tenor saxophonist Nicholas Timothy.
Jones said the school had found the formula for success and development.
“They have found a chart, a path and they are working it. So many good things are happening at this school. The school has got to know what’s the mission and keep that vision going and I am sure that other great things will continue to happen.
“I will continue to speak to the principal and the chairman of the board to keep pushing the envelope even wider so that more and more of these young men at the school can be embraced and be given hope and purpose for life,” Jones said.