Sandy Point Benevolent Society

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 20TH 2013 — Jackie “Singing Jackie” Hazel-Leader to receive prestigious award in New York City.

The Sandy Point Benevolent Society, Inc. has officially announced its third awardee for the Third Annual Awards Banquet to be held in New York on August 31, 2013. She is the veteran teacher of history, and stoic female calypso icon in St. Kitts, Mrs. Jackie “Singing Jackie” Hazel-Leader.

Jackie, Ms Hazel, Mrs. Leader, Singing Jackie: any of these names by which she is affectionately called by many a student, parent, work colleague and calypso fan, defies mere ordinariness. All speak to the countless lives that she has touched and continues to touch as a teacher and on the calypso stage both at home and abroad. But it is for her long years of meritorious service to the Charles E. Mills Secondary School (formerly Sandy Point High School) and the neighbouring communities that it serves that she is to be bestowed the Distinguished Alumnus and Leadership Award.

Mrs. Hazel-Leader began her teaching career as an untrained teacher at the Newton Ground Primary School in 1976. Two years later, she was transferred to the Sandy Point High School. She knew that teaching was her calling; hence, in that same year she embarked on a one-year in-service teacher-training course of study and officially became a trained teacher in 1979.

Mrs. Hazel-Leader has yielded 19 long years of dedicated and uncompromising service to the Sandy Point High School. Throughout those years, she made her mark as an outstanding teacher of humanities, particularly in the areas of Geography, English Language, English Literature and Caribbean History. But while she gave no less of her time and energy to the teaching of any one of these subjects, it is much to her credit that history was made alive in the classroom. As many of her students claim, Jackie delivered in immaculate ways; she was stunningly motivating and turned what was perceivably, the most boring of topics, into theatrics. This, more often than not, resulted in her students gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for history, and ultimately, consistent high performance rates at the CXC level.

Her exemplary performance in the classroom extended to her strategic shepherding of Green House (which held the champion title for several years) as house master for well over 10 years, as well as her steering the ship as Head of the History department during the period 1987 – 1997 when she resigned to take up residence in the US Virgin Islands. True to form, she has strengthened her capacity to educate the youth having successfully pursued an Undergraduate Degree in the Social Sciences (Summa Cum Laude) and a Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of the Virgin Islands. Currently, she serves as the Advanced Placement Teacher of United States History at the Charlotte Amalie High School, St. Thomas.

The Sandy Point Benevolent Society therefore salutes Mrs. Jackie Hazel-Leader – the leader; the calypsonian; the overwhelmingly caring and admiringly passionate woman who believes in what she was created to do – teach, teach, and still teach!

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