Retired Grand Bahama Educator Receives Accolades
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Education Minister, the Hon. T. Desmond Bannister on Friday, November 5 paid tribute to retired educator Hezekiah Dean, saying that his life can serve as an inspiration for others still in the profession. Mr. Bannister’s comments came during a Retirement Celebration for the former educator held at Taino By The Sea.
Mr. Dean’s contribution to education spans over four decades, serving as a teacher, principal and ending his career as a District Superintendent for High Schools on Grand Bahama Island.
Addressing a large gathering of educators, friends and family of Mr. Dean, the Education Minister agreed with the saying that when one loves people and has the desire to make a profound, positive impact upon the world, then will you have accomplished the real meaning of life.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Hezekiah Dean’s love of people and the idea of providing them a service led him to enter the profession of education.
“As we all know, teaching is the noblest profession of them all, and we thank you Mr. Dean for the valuable contributions that you have made in improving our educational system,” Mr. Bannister stated.
He recalled that Mr. Dean began his service as a monitor 46 years ago in Rose’s Long Island, where he was born. After spending one year at that position he attended the Bahamas Teachers College where he earned his certification.
Following this, his career took him back to long Island and then to San Salvador, Rock Sound, Abaco, New Providence and Grand Bahama, where he held various positions which included: Teacher Trainee, Head Teacher, Vice Principal, Principal and Superintendent.
Describing the honouree as always the advocate of higher education and lifelong learning, the Minister pointed out that Mr. Dean did not rest on his laurels.
He took the opportunity while at the C.I. Gibson Senior High School to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education at the College of The Bahamas/University of the West Indies.
“A man who has always believed that teachers should be totally committed to the cause of education, especially where the children are concerned, Mr. Dean’s life can indeed serve as inspiration for others still in the profession.
“A true nation builder, he often asked: where would teachers be if it were not for the children? That is a profound question for all of us to ponder.
“Because he desired to make an impact on the youth of our nation, Mr. Dean refused promising careers in the priesthood and police force, and says that he has no regrets when he looks back,” the Minister said.
He also acknowledged the positive impact Mr. Dean has made on so many lives, a true testimony that can be seen in so many of his students at all levels of society.
According to the Minister, Mr. Dean regarded his contributions to the Jack Hayward High School as his greatest achievements. He recalled that Mr. Dean took command of the school shortly after it was built back in 1995 and helped to build it from its academic programming to its extra curricular activities. He spent seven years at the school.
“It was the type of leadership, professionalism and the performance of his duties to the highest standards that led to Mr. Dean’s promotion to Superintendent in 2002.
“I am certain that there is no one here who would disagree with me when I say that your life’s work is a true testament to diligence, commitment, and drive for which we are all extremely grateful,” Mr. Bannister said.
The Education Minister then went on to express the gratitude of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to Mr. Dean for “Making a difference for this and future generations.”
By Simon Lewis
Bahamas Information Services