It seemed as if a rock star had just arrived on the island as commotion took o the streets of San Pedro Town Wednesday afternoon, March 10. But indeed celebrities in their own right, the San Pedro High School Math Olympiad team are indeed famous. Residents lined up along the streets to cheer along with the entire school for the National Champions of the Math Olympiad. It is a great accomplishment for San Pedro High School and we are all proud of our team.
Let me first publicly congratulate the Math Olympiad team lead by Jing Han, Vicky Balam, Ismael Kay and Emily Gomez from San Pedro High School for holding high the name of San Pedro. Winning the National Math Olympiad is not an ordinary feat; yet our students and coaches proved even to the skeptics that San Pedro High School could stand head to toe with established giants in our country.
When you look at the giants who have won it before, the likes of St. John’s College, Corozal Community College and Belize Christian Academy are there. I can only extrapolate and reach to the conclusion that something good must be happening at San Pedro High School. This is no accident, last year we won the National Food and Nutrition competition and led the delegation that eventually won the Caricom Food and Nutrition competition.
As an educator, I appreciate the effort placed by these youngsters in the name of academics. To Mrs. Iris Herstig (head coach), Mr. Gary Tabony, (volunteer teacher), and Mrs. Shakira Coleman (volunteer teacher) I would like to tip my hat off for your unselfish effort to prepare these students for such prestigious event. The qualities that you have displayed: commitment, patience, generosity just to mention a few have made it possible for these students be able to experience what it is to be on the top and to truly be the best. You depict the profile of what a teacher should be and we are blessed to have you working at SPHS.
I came to San Pedro in 1997 to work at San Pedro High School and promptly fell in love with the island, the community and above all with the institution. San Pedro High School see, is not an ordinary High School; it was not founded by the Government of Belize, or by any Religious Denomination to serve its need and the need of the community. But rather, it was established in 1971 by community oriented natives who had a vision of providing quality education to local students who could not make it to the mainland for an education.
These founders stood firm in their vision to provide this insignificant (education was not relevant to the livelihood then) venture and now can enjoy the fruits of their vision. In many other institutions people come and go, not in San Pedro High, people like Mrs. Martha Guerrero, Mrs. Celi Mckorkle and Mr. Angel Nuñez are still active and vigilant of the needs and accomplishments of "their" school.
I have mentioned it before and will mention it again; parents of San Pedro, there are no need for you to risk the safety of your children or family unity in an effort to provide the best education for your child. San Pedro High School is gradually showing the signs of a great school and it is up to you the parents, your children, the students and us the teachers to put our efforts together to provide the relevant education that our future San Pedranos really need.
Mrs. Guerrero, Mrs. Mckorkle and Mr. Nuñez feel proud about what you have founded. It is a legacy that is priceless and the fruits are slowly being enjoyed by those who have put the trust in you. Meanwhile I invite the entire community to join in the celebration of the above mentioned feat.
/s/ Gustavo A. Ellis, Dean San Pedro Junior College