An amazingly warn personality is not the only reason Olive Bygrave has won the admiration of teachers and other people in and around her native Clarendon.
She is a Justice of the Peace, leader of Croft’s Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church, and a retiree who gave a whopping 38 years in the field of education.
She was applauded on March 11 during a ceremony held in Kellits, Clarendon, to honour members of school boards serving in the education ministry’s Quality Education Cluster 48, which covers 19 schools in the Clarendon Northern constituency.
Bygrave served for six years as Education Officer in charge of the Cluster until she retired in March 2019.
In commending Bygrave, educator Tracey-Ann Mahoney told the gathering. “We [in the Cluster] were ably led by this beautiful wise woman for many years… She positioned us; she trained us; and we are thankful for the service she gave.”
Bygrave, in the meantime, got her first job in the field of education in 1980 when she served as teacher at McNie All Age School in Clarendon.
She moved to Kellits Primary School where she worked as classroom teacher, senior teacher, and school-based assessment coordinator.
She later became Principal of Brandon Hill Primary School – starting in 2009.
“During that period when I was principal, the school recognized improvement in the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Test,” Bygrave told The Beacon.
She added that education was always a top priority, especially for her father, who was a farmer. Her mother was a housewife.
“Life was challenging with one person earning – my father, who was a farmer. He did everything though to make his children successful, because he firmly believed education is the way out of poverty,” said Bygrave, who was born at Rock River, Clarendon.
She attended Rock River All Age School, Clarendon College, Shortwood Teachers College, and the International University of the Caribbean.
Bygrave, who has two children and is married to Charles Bygrave, advised young people entering the teaching profession to be passionate about their job.
“When you have a passion for the job, you will succeed,” she said, adding: “You will not be bored; you will look at challenges as solutions; and you will find innovative ways to make a good contribution to society.”
Asked how she eventually would like to be remembered, the educator extraordinaire told The Beacon: “I would like people to remember me as a God-fearing, humble, willing and loving person.”
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