Tue | Jul 23, 2024

El Instituto Awards Banquet a success

Published:Saturday | June 15, 2024 | 12:06 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer
Custos Rotolorum for Manchester, Garfield Green, during his remarks at the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet, held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.
Custos Rotolorum for Manchester, Garfield Green, during his remarks at the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet, held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.
Nelton ‘Bella’ Johnson (left), creative director at Blue Ember Concepts, Juliet ‘Julie Mango’ Bodley (centre), and Simone Spence Johnson, president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, following the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Hom
Nelton ‘Bella’ Johnson (left), creative director at Blue Ember Concepts, Juliet ‘Julie Mango’ Bodley (centre), and Simone Spence Johnson, president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, following the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet, held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.
Keila McKenzie (left), chief executive officer, O&D Pest Control, with Simone Spence Johnson, president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, following the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet, held at the Golf View Ho
Keila McKenzie (left), chief executive officer, O&D Pest Control, with Simone Spence Johnson, president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, following the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet, held at the Golf View Hotel, in Mandeville. McKenzie is one of the first 13 children that started at El Instituto with its founder, Audrey V. Salmon.
Danielle Archer, attorney-at-law, principal director at National Integrity Action and past student, delivering the keynote address at the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet.
Danielle Archer, attorney-at-law, principal director at National Integrity Action and past student, delivering the keynote address at the El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet.
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The El Instituto de Mandevilla 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Awards Banquet did not meet the $5-million fundraising target. However, the organisers said the overall event was a success. As part of the event, the organisers intended to raise funds to construct a bridge connecting the school’s two campuses in Mandeville, Manchester.

With over 400 students currently enrolled at the institution, the building of the bridge is in line with the strategic objectives of enhancing safety and security on an ongoing basis on the campus.

According to principal, Dr Faithlyn Wilson, the event was a success in the planning and execution phase. The feedback, she said, was mostly positive. “This was just the first fundraising event. There are other events and activities that will be planned to continue raising funds,” Dr Wilson said.

Several people associated with the school received awards and special recognition at the event. There were four categories of awards, including Outstanding Past Parent Category, Special Thanks Category, Stalwart Contribution Throughout the Years to El Instituto, and The El Instituto Then, Now awardees.

In the Outstanding Past Parent Category, recipients included Dr Clive Lloyd, Dr Jerome Howell, Mr and Mrs Patrick McDowell, Mr and Mrs Horace Fisher.

Stalwart contributors throughout the years to El Instituto included Beverly Brown (retired teacher), Euglin Sinclair (retired teacher), Delroye Salmon, and Mr and Mrs Irons.

The El Instituto, Then, Now awardees included Josephine Walker, Sharon Fisher, Charmaine Wright, Esmie Muschette, Karsha-Rene Senior-Bayley, Valerie McNamee, Tanesha Wright, Dr Faithlyn Wilson, and Debra Gordon.

“The event brought together the administration, staff, parents (present and past), well-wishers and friends for an evening of fun, fellowship and recognition. Staff who served the school for over 20 years were highlighted, as well as past parents and those who would have contributed to the school’s development from the days of the founder, Mrs Audrey Salmon,” Dr Wilson said.

The evening was also used to launch the ‘Connect the Dots’ campaign to continue the thrust towards building the overhead bridge to connect both campuses of the school. The campaign was well received and people made pledges to the fund.

The event was held under the patronage of the Custos of Manchester, Garfield Green and Mrs Green. According to Custos Green, El Instituto challenges students to push beyond their perceived limits, discover their true potential, and excel in all areas of their lives.

“Whether in academics, music, or extra-curricular activities, students are encouraged to strive for excellence, embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and never settle for mediocrity,” Custos Green said.

“There is a common belief that academic achievements measure not just true success, but the strength of one’s character. The school teaches its students the importance of integrity, empathy, resilience, honesty, responsibility, and respect for others,” he added.

Danielle Archer, attorney-at-law, principal director at National Integrity Action and past student, delivered the keynote address. She referenced the Jamaican National Pledge and encouraged the audience to serve, work diligently and creatively for the continued advancement of nation building.

“Let us recommit ourselves to upholding these values that lie at the heart of our school community. Let us conjure the wisdom of the past, drawing strength from the lessons learned by those who have passed through before us. Let us inspire the future with our vision, passion, and unwavering belief in the potential of every student who passes through the school,” Archer said.

El Instituto de Mandevilla was founded by the late Audrey V. Salmon and began as an evening language institute in 1978, offering help with Spanish for students struggling with the language in the public school system.

Salmon, a trained Spanish teacher, worked for nearly 20 years in the public education system. She recognised the challenges students in the system faced and developed a curriculum which helped them gain distinctions in high-school external examinations.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com