Principal of Charlemont High School in the Linstead area of St. Catherine, Garth Gayle, has described as excellent, two of the institution’s teachers who died mere weeks apart in hospital.
Dexter Trail from the Industrial Arts Department died last week, and Latoya Carter Fullerton from the English Language Department died last month. They were ill for a period of time.
“We have lost two persons who have given tremendous service to education and the building of our students – and more so eagles here at Charlemont. It is sad, but they were ill and the illness overtook them. The loss is felt among the staff and students, and we really do miss them,” the principal said.
He told The Beacon that Charlemont High is greatly appreciative of the support received from the Jamaica Teachers Association and guidance counsellors from other schools.
Gayle said his administration is in dialogue with relatives of the late teachers, despite the closure of schools caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We have been using the virtual method. We were able to host the family of Mrs. Carter Fullerton here on the compound with staff – and that went very well,” the principal added. “We are working with the family in regards to Mr. Trail and how best we can treat with his memory.”
Trail is at least the fifth Charlemont High teacher to have passed away within the last three years. All of them died of illnesses, except for Tanijah Howell who was murdered.
The principal does not consider the frequency of the deaths to be suspicious.
“I have never lived a life where I work on suspicion. That speaks to fear; I speak to what is credible and what the medical science said. The medical science clearly indicates that the [last two] members who died are no longer with us due to illnesses. We honour their memory; we respect the rights of their family as they grieve at the moment,” the principal said.
Another educator at Charlemont High described the two late teachers as exceptional, adding that Trail was dedicated to his work even when he struggled with illness.
Fullerton, described as one of the most caring teachers one could find, will be laid to rest on Saturday, July 25, after a funeral service starting at 10AM at Moneague College in St. Ann.
Meanwhile, the Charlemont High School Past Students Association, headed by Onetta LaBeach, also expressed condolences to the school as well as the teachers’ relatives and friends.
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