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Sister Ivy retires after 21 years at St Mary’s

Sister Ivy retires after 21 years at St Mary’s


After dedicating the last twenty-one years to the education sector here, Principal of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School Sister Ivy Pacheco has decided it’s time to move on.{{more}}

Born in the community of Brasso Seco, Trinidad, Sister Ivy, as she is commonly known, has been an educator for forty-two years, half of that time spent in St Vincent at St Mary’s Roman Catholic School.

Reminiscing on the two decades here, Sister Ivy told SEARCHLIGHT that since arriving on these shores in 1991, over time, she has adapted to the Vincentian culture and has embraced every moment spent.

“St Vincent, it’s a beautiful island,” she said.

She explained that after spending just a year as a teacher at St Mary’s, she was then appointed to the position as Headteacher.

“So, I’ve reached retirement age and that is why I am retiring,” she said jokingly.

“In coming here, it was the first time to be in that position as leader of the school and I entrusted the school to God. Over the years, I’ve had very good staff and that has helped to carry the school.”

Sister Ivy said she has witnessed the school accomplish a lot through team work during her time at the helm of the educational institution.

Some of the major accomplishments include the upgrading of the physical structure of the school, as well as its academic performance, especially at the Common Entrance Examinations.

“The physical structure has really improved. Part of it is because of the strong parent body we have in the PTA and outside assistance.

“On the academic side, I would say every year so far, that we have been in the first ten and yet I know there is still room for improvement and I would like to see that achieved,” she further stated.

Sister Ivy, however, attributed the school’s accomplishments to her staff, for their team work and dedication in making the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School one of the nation’s top primary educational institutions.

“All that has happened, I don’t take credit, although I am the leader, because you must have a good working staff….

“They have held together. They have worked and they have challenged each other, but we have accomplished and I am leaving now and I still believe that with the staff I have now, they are going to move the school forward.”

Sister Ivy further noted that she is retiring in a satisfied frame of mind, knowing that the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School is “at a good standard”.

She said she trusts that God will continue to see the school excel.

Last Sunday, teachers at the school and the Parent Teacher Association held a farewell ceremony to pay tribute to Sister Ivy and Theresa Cyrus, a teacher who was retiring after 35 years at the school.

Former pupils, parents and other well-wishers were also present at the ceremony, which was held at the St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. The Ministry of Education was represented by Elizabeth Walker, who spoke of her experiences working with Sister Ivy over the years.

Cyrus, who, over the years, taught hundreds of pupils from grade K to grade 5, spent the last few years at the grade K level.

A former pupil of the St Mary’s RC, Cyrus spent a total of 42 years at the institution, the only time not a part of the school being when she was a secondary student of the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown.

On June 26, present students of the school, at each grade level, thanked the retiring teachers for their love, hard work and commitment by performing poems, songs and choral speeches in their honour.

Although retiring as Headteacher of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School, this is not the end of the road for Sister Ivy as an educator.

Her next appointment will be as Principal of the St Xavier’s private primary school in the land of her birth, Trinidad.

“But before I go there, I’ll have a sabbatical. So from September to December, it will be my time,” she stated with a smile.(AA)