A “learning revolution” will be launched, as the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation hosts a major School Leadership Summit to set a new pace for education in Jamaica.

School leaders, including principals, senior teachers, grade supervisors, school board members and Ministry of Education officials, will benefit from an exchange of expertise in school leadership from top international and local professionals in educational leadership, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, on July 25 and 26.

The event, organised under the theme: Join the Education Revolution, will include educators who have already made significant impact in classrooms, moving from “chalk and talk,” to stimulating leadership.

Dr Renee Rattray, director of education programmes at the JN Foundation, says the intent of the summit is to energise school leaders and inspire new thinking and approaches to leadership in schools.

“The summit will provide the opportunity for school leaders across Jamaica to gather and learn; infuse their practice and renew their commitment to supporting their staff; as well as, improving outcomes for students,” Dr Rattray disclosed.

She said that, in keeping with the mantra of our Foundation, we want our school leaders to be inspired and prepared to evangelise others, as they leave the summit to, “Innovate, Impact and Lead.”

Against that background, Dr Rattray outlined that participants will benefit from powerful presentations from several local and international speakers during the two-day event, including turn-around school principals such as, Salome Thomas-El, Head of School at the Thomas Edison Charter School in Delaware, United States of America, who will be the keynote speaker on the opening day of the summit. 

An award-winning teacher and principal, Mr Thomas-El has had a track record of assisting challenging young people in the US to achieve success. The author of two best-selling books, he is also an acclaimed chess coach, who assisted students at the Vaux Middle School in the US to be recognised as eight-time National Chess Champions.

Other international speakers at the summit will include, Science Professor at New York’s prestigious, Columbia University, Chris Emdin, who is well-known for his use of hip-hop music to build interest in science among young people in the US; and US-based turnaround Principal and motivational coach, Pete Hall.

The team will also include: Kasan Troupe, who led the Denbigh High School in Clarendon to achievement; Dr Nsombi Jaja, Management Consultant and Change Leader, as well as Dr Rattray, who are among the dynamic local talent billed for the summit.    

School Leaders Ready for an Education Revolution. From left to right (front row): Colleen Montague, Principal, Wolmer’s Girls School in Kingston; Kasan Troupe, Principal, Denbigh High School, Clarendon; Kandi-Lee Crook-Smith, Principal, Allman Town Primary, Kingston and Dr Renee Rattray, Director, Education Programmes, JN Foundation. From left to right (background): Lawrence Rowe, Principal, Mile Gully High School, Manchester; Nadine Molloy, Principal, Ardenne High School, St Andrew; Karl Coke, Principal, Buff Bay Primary School, Portland; Esther Tyson, School Leadership Coach, JN Foundation; Oneal McLeod, National Mathematics Teacher of Year, Godfrey Stewart High School, Westmoreland and Lynton Weir, Principal, Old Harbour High School, St Catherine. Joining the school leaders in their military gear are Jamaica Defence Force physical trainers, Lance Corporal, Lamar Manning (front row) and Sergeant Phillip Dawkins.  

“The intention is not to only inspire school leaders, but to ensure that teachers will leave with new skills that they can use to enhance or start the transformation of their respective schools,” said Dr Rattray.

School leaders and school board members who plan to register for the event may visit www.www.jnfoundation.com and clicking the link, register here, to complete the online registration form. They may also call 926-1344, extension 5164, to register.

And, to finalise their registration, payment should be made at any JNBS Branch or MoneyShop. Persons with JN accounts, who are already using the JN LIVE online banking may also pay via JN LIVE.

“There is need for targeted for a such as this summit in Jamaica for our school leaders, where they can come together, exchange ideas, learn from each other and be exposed to practices from other countries,” acknowledged Dr Rattray.

“And if teachers are going to consistently refine our craft, as surgeons do, we must learn from each other and demonstrate what we do in our classrooms, so that we can inspire the best approaches to teaching and learning.”

She affirmed that “we cannot continue to run our schools and conduct teaching and learning in the same way that we have always done. It is not working.”

“We have to do things differently and act urgently,” Dr Rattray said. “We need an education revolution.”