Former school principal, Dr. Phillip Wilson, has received the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education after almost four decades in the teaching profession.
He headed St Thomas Technical High School, and his alma mater St Andrew Technical High.
Dr Wilson, who collected his award during a ceremony at Jamaica House on June 26, also served as vice principal at Denham Town High School and as a teacher at Papine High.
“I am a lifelong learner who vowed that I would give back to education,” he said. “It is a good feeling seeing someone recognise you and what you have done over the years.”
Dr Wilson, who spent 17 years as a Principal and 20 years as a classroom teacher, said the love he developed working with parents and students motivated him to continue for as long as he did.
“I felt that I was a successful person, helping to create other successful persons. I am a believer in education; education will change your life,” he declared during an interview with the state-owned Jamaica Information Service.
During his tenure at St Andrew Technical, Dr Wilson introduced initiatives that were aimed at enhancing the learning experience for students.
Those included gender education, through which boys were taught Mathematics separately from girls – an initiative that yielded a 13 percent increase in passes at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level.
Furthermore, Dr Wilson secured sponsorship for the perimeter fencing and playing field at the school, and sponsorship to build and equip the gymnatorium. That resulted in increased students’ performance at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships as well as Penn Relays.
Dr Wilson also founded the S.W. Isaac/STATHS Annual Invitational Track and Field Meet.
While at St Thomas Technical High, he established the sixth-form programme.
Dr Wilson also introduced the grade-11 extension programme, which targeted students from St Thomas, Portland and Kingston who were out of school due to pregnancy or expulsion. “This I consider to be one of the best things I have ever done for students,” he said.
Dr Wilson further stated that many students who participated in the programme overcame their circumstances, went to tertiary institutions, and returned to the school as teachers.
He, in the meantime, also served as an Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, where he was seconded for a year.
During his tenure, Dr Wilson supervised 10 technical and vocational departments; he also supervised and coordinated the National Curriculum in Technical and Vocational Education.
He played an integral role in the development of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Manuals for Schools at the Ministry of Education.
Outside of his role as an educator, Dr Wilson, who is also a justice of the peace, is very involved in the community.
He served as Zone Chairman for the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), President of the Association of Principals of Technical High Schools, and mentor to the Pre-University Men’s programme (PUMP) at The Mico University College.
The educator also conducted seminars in Pedagogical Development for Teachers in St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew.
He has received numerous awards, including the Social Development Commission Certificate of Merit for Contribution to Youth Development in St Thomas, and the HEART Trust/Ministry of Education Certificate of Merit for Effective School Management.
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