By anguillian November 13, 2017 12:09 Updated




After a long association with the St. Mary’s Anglican Preschool, Mrs. Hazel Brooks is relinquishing her duties as Principal there – and is handing over to her deputy, Ms. Keturah Richardson. She is currently on pre-retirement leave which expires on December 1.

Mrs. Hazell has been with St. Mary’s Preschool since its inception in September 1983 when she began serving as Deputy Principal. She worked closely with the then Principal, Ms. Veda Harrigan, who was seconded there for a year from a Government Primary School. When Mrs. Rosalind Pond succeeded Veda as Principal, Mrs. Brooks was still serving as Deputy Principal. She was appointed Principal when Mrs. Pond later retired and moved to the United States.

At that time St. Mary’s Preschool was located in the Old Boys’ School. It was relocated to its present site when a new and separate school building was constructed by the St. Mary’s Vestry.

“The preschool has grown tremendously since its inception,” Mrs. Brooks told The Anguillian “We started with twenty-five children in the Old Boys’ School and to date, up to the time when I left there at the end of August this year, the roll was 185 children on record.”
Asked what she thought accounted for the growth of the school, Mrs. Brooks replied: “I think it is the child friendly programme that we have been involved in since the inception of the school. We catered for the total child. We have also been depending heavily on the parents, working closely with them. When you have parents involved in the everyday running of the school, they know the ins and outs of the school and are more comfortable knowing they are part of the system. We therefore did not have a problem with enrolment or getting children. We didn’t have to advertise for children because the parents themselves were promoting and continue to promote the school.

“Parents play an important role in the overall running and development of the school. The child friendly programme is therefore very important. It respects each child.”
Like many long-serving and retired teachers, Mrs. Brooks was told by The Anguillian that she will have to become accustomed to be out of the classroom. “Initially, before I started my pre-retirement leave, it was with a heavy heart that I said goodbye,” she replied. “Actually, I wrote the Vestry and told them I thought I had enough, and it was time for me to retire, because I have been there a long time and I thought it was time for somebody else to take over. I said it was with a heavy heart I am retiring, and that I want to retire now – but since I took my pre-retirement leave from the first of September, I hadn’t a chance to think about it. That is because the hurricane struck shortly after and the roof of my house is gone; so now I am more concentrating on fixing my roof, and I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and say well this is it. I have really retired. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Mrs. Brooks who is originally from Jamaica served as an Assistant Manager of a Preschool there with a role of 250 children. “It was therefore not strange for me to fit in here in Anguilla,” she stated.

In offering her very best wishes to the new principal and staff of St. Mary’s Preschool, Mrs. Brooks had this to say: “I promised them that I will give them my support as much as I can. Actually, even in this stressful period in which I am going through with my house being severely damaged, I was at the school twice since I left. I told them anything they want, just call me. I will be there because I still feel I am part of the school.”

Meanwhile, the new Principal and her staff have offered every good wish to Mrs. Brooks, and are grateful for her leadership and the close working relationship they enjoyed over the years.

By anguillian November 13, 2017 12:09 Updated


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