By RON FANFAIR
Wolmer’s – which comprises separate boys’ and girls’ schools – remains one of Jamaica’s leading educational institutions with its students achieving landmark academic and athletic success.
This year, five students of the girls’ school achieved a perfect 100 per cent in the Caribbean exams and 12 received scholarships to attend Caribbean and overseas colleges and universities.
Principal of the girls’ school, Colleen Montague, brought the good news to alumni in the Greater Toronto Area at their annual fundraising luncheon concert last Sunday.
“In relation to academic performance, our own internal value added data continues to show that our students across all age groups regularly exceed what might be reasonably expected of them in terms of academic performance in comparison to the national standard,” said Montague, the first Wolmerian to return as principal.
“Everyday at Wolmer’s we see girls who are full of energy, who are inquisitive, creative, caring and supportive and who have the boundless potential to do good. I am sure the best is still to come. I must emphasize that I see a school with high standards and a strong future. I see high quality learning and teaching taking place in improving surroundings and I see highly committed teachers working with an increasing number of highly committed pupils. I see care and attention paid to the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Wolmer’s was established in 1729 when philanthropist John Wolmer bequeathed 2,360 British pounds for the foundation of a ‘free school’. The Wolmer’s Group of Schools now comprises pre-school and preparatory boys’ and girls’ schools, with an enrolment of almost 4,000. There are 1,438 students and 110 staff at the girls’ school.
After graduating from Wolmer’s, Montague attended Moneague Teachers’ College before enrolling at the University of the West Indies where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and Central Connecticut State University where she received a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership.
Montague thanked the Wolmer’s Alumni Association (Toronto) for its support over the years and promised that the school will continue to be a beacon of academic and athletic excellence.
“I am increasingly convinced that we are continuing to build on a solid 280-year foundation,” she said. “It is common sense and I suggest that when standards of conduct and performance are set and adhered to, then only a high performing school – Wolmer’s – can result.”
Last year, the Toronto alumni group donated funds to renovate the boys’ and girls’ libraries, purchase a photocopier for the boys’ school and assist with the student welfare fund and leadership program.
Wolmer’s produced the late Rosemary Brown who was the first Black woman elected to a Canadian legislature; World and Olympic 100-metre champion Shelly-Ann Fraser; former Jamaican Prime Minster Edward Seaga and several West Indies cricketers, including Jackie Hendriks, Maurice Foster, Jeffrey Dujon, Gareth Breese, Carlton Baugh, Gerry Alexander and the late Ivan Barrow, Karl Nunes and Alan Rae.