Dominique McCartney-Russell was welcomed back to the Sister Mary Patricia Russell Junior High School (SMPRJHS) in grand style on Thursday morning, after giving dedicated service as the school’s principal for five years, 2012 to 2017.
Panther Pride was alive and well, with a lineup of serenades, poems, song and dance, fit for a queen, McCartney-Russell arrived at the school by limo and was escorted onto the premises by an Honour Guard, courtesy of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force Rangers.
A number of Ministry of Education officials inclusive of District Superintendents of Education for West Grand Bahama and East Grand Bahama and the Cays, Ivan Butler and Yvonne Ward respectfully, who thanked and congratulated McCartney-Russell for her dedicated service to the school.
Both agreed that the special ceremony, in her honour, was most deserving.
“I cannot tell you just how much she (McCartney-Russell) has impacted my life as an educator. This morning it is a pleasure to be here and to celebrate a woman, who deserves every accolade that can be poured on her,” said Ward. “I had the distinct pleasure and opportunity, to work with Mrs. Russell as an educator and I want you to know Mrs. Russell, I think that I have never met one who has been so focused on her passion, which is education.
“You have learned so much from us as educators and we have learned so much from you. Thank you for serving so well as a Vice Principal of Jack Hayward Senior High School. I am sure that you left an indelible mark on all of us – the students, the teachers and the staff. Thank you for all that you have done to contribute to the education not just at Sister Mary and Jack Hayward, but throughout The Bahamas. I want to congratulate you on being appointed as the new District Superintendent for Abaco.”
Principal of SMPRJHS JoyAnne Pennerman noted, “We celebrate with you, serving as principal of this fine institution for five long years and we applaud your promotion.
“Thank you for the dedicated service that you have given to Sister Mary; you were able to build on the foundation and building blocks of those who labored before you.”
Dr. Donald McCartney, Professor at Barry University and McCartney-Russell’s mentor, was also on hand for the special occasion.
“Mrs. Russell, you live and you work in a time where everyone is an expert on education, except for those who have been trained and qualified in this most important human endeavor. In fact, it was said that the foundations of our society, are being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and as a people.
“I believe, Mrs. Russell, that the weakest of our educational system, or foundation have been facilitated by this new movement of earning without learning, having access without process and seeking competence without comprehension. But, despite all of those, you continue on,” said McCartney.
“I want you to know that I stand four-square behind you in your endeavors to make the District of Abaco the premier educational district, so that it will be the place where other districts will come and observe your work and that they will have workshops and sessions in Abaco; so that we can improve the educational product in all corners of this nation, because we do need to understand that unless we educate the entire nation, we would have failed.”
McCartney-Russell was presented with a number of tokens of appreciation from former colleagues. She thanked all in attendance for their outpouring of love and support for her service while at SMPRJHS.