Former Acting Principal at Enid Bennett High School in Bog Walk, St Catherine, Pauline Hines, was 16 years old when her parents died of natural causes in the same year – three months apart, leaving eight children behind.
Hines, who was the second child, said she and her siblings banded together to overcome the challenges resulting mainly from the loss of both parents – Jenny McDonald and Ronald McDonald.
“It was a struggle,” she admitted. “We had to strategize how we were going to move out of our situation. So, one by one, we went to college. It was a struggle, but we have survived, and everybody came out pretty well.”
Hines, who was born in the United Kingdom and raised in the Spanish Town area of St Catherine, attended St Catherine High School.
She later did a stint as a teacher at Tulloch Primary School under the government’s National Youth Service programme, through which she discovered her love for teaching.
After attending Passley Gardens Teachers College in Portland where she earned a diploma, Hines commenced her teaching career in 1985 at the then Bog Walk Secondary School – recently renamed Enid Bennett High.
She spent 34 years moulding young minds at that institution, moving up through the ranks – from form teacher, through Vice Principal, to serving as Acting Principal in 2018.
During her tenure at Enid Bennett High, the educator strengthened her credentials with a first degree in English and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Development – both from the University of the West Indies.
Reflecting on her illustrious career, Hines, who is now on pre-retirement leave, told The Beacon: “I love what I did immensely and, if I had the chance to get young again, I would walk that road again.”
The educator extraordinaire, who has been living in Bog Walk since she was a teenager, said her passion for interacting with young people fuelled her drive over the years.
“When you work with young and see positive change, it gives a very good feeling. That’s the payback I got from teaching,” she posited. “The funds weren’t there, but the joy of impacting young minds in a positive was fulfilling for me.”
Hines, who has two daughters – one of whom recently graduated as a lawyer, said all teachers should strive towards making a positive impact on the younger generation.
“Don’t bash them; don’t condemn them. No matter what, try to remain positive,” she advised, adding: “Couple years down the road, your students will remember you for the positive things you have done to them.”
Hines attributed her strength partly to the tremendous support she has been receiving from her husband, Trevor Hines.
She told The Beacon that, in the end, she would like to be remembered for the impact she was able to make especially through teaching. “I want to be remembered for how I have impacted young people,” she said emphatically.
Hines was among five women honoured by the True United Sisters organization on International Women’s Day for their outstanding work.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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