Charlestown –Nevis- Miss Shenelle Pemberton is the only addition to the number of principals who lead out at the various schools across Nevis, as the new school term begins.
Born and raised in Bath Village, to Paul and Gloria Pemberton, she started her early education at the Maude Smith Pre School.
She later continued her educational pursuits at the St. John’s Primary School and progressed to the Charlestown Secondary School for her secondary education.
Miss Pemberton indicated that during those early years, she never visualized herself as a Teacher. She just wanted to complete her schooling and get a job, maybe in a business related area, as many of the subjects that she was majoring in, were business related.
After a successful stint at the Charlestown Secondary School, she moved on and completed another two years of study at the Sixth form college. Two years which she described as ‘a wonderful experience.’
Having successfully completed her sixth form education, she was still not sure what she wanted to do as a profession, but a group of friends all got together and they decided that they would go to the Teachers training course ‘and see what it was all about.’
She was first assigned to the school of her early childhood years, the ST.John’s Primary School, now the Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School.
She noted that at first, she felt that teaching was a natural thing for her, even though sometimes she questioned herself as to the choice of profession. After three years on the job, she was very settled in the profession.
She then went on to the Teachers’ training college in St.Kitts and after a successful stint there, she was longing to be reassigned to the St.John’s Primary School but was instead sent to the Charlestown Primary school, under the supervision of headmistress Alice Swanston.
She pointed out that Mrs. Swanston made her feel welcomed and assisted her in a huge way. She even gave her the challenge of handling one of the three grade six classes, which consisted of a group of slow learners. She stated that she received a lot of help from the two other more experienced grade six teachers in Donace Wilkerson (now Caines) and Latoya Jeffers.
She worked hard with the students and to her joy, one of them made it into the 1A2 class at the Charlestown Secondary school and a few others got close to doing the same thing because she had worked overtime with them and they had responded well.
After that one year at the Charlestown Primary School, she then decided to pursue university education. She was originally accepted at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados but after a friend told her about the Mid Western State University in Texas, they both decided to go there instead.
At Midwestern State University (MSU), between the years 2008 to 2011, she majored in Education, which focused on early childhood to grade six. She graduated magnum cum lade with a GPA of 3.83 and she is now certified to teach from pre- school to grade six.
She was also very active during her university years and opines that university life, brought the best out of her.
She served on several executive Associations, including the Caribbean students’ Association. This caused her to be involved in making many public presentations and become involved in quite a bit of voluntary work.
“University life helped me to become a more confident person and I would encourage as many persons as possible to seek higher education and explore new horizons, as it would only help them to develop,’ she said.
After graduating from University, she worked for a brief while in the USA, starting with a stint at the Early Learning program in Washington DC and followed that with a stint at the phone company known as VERIZON, where she worked her way to a supervisory level and had her own work team to manage.
On the completion of her study leave in 2012, she returned to Nevis, with the stated intention of giving back to her beloved island.
‘I got lots of help here and it is only fair that I give back,’ she said.
She was immediately reassigned to the Charlestown Primary School and that school became home between 2012 and early 2015.
When she got the call of transfer to the Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School, she stated that she ‘all but cried.’
‘After all, I had become so attached to my grade sixers at CPS and I had just bought some materials and was all bubbling, looking forward to an exciting term with them, when I was told about the transfer,’ she said.
She however indicated that she was warmly welcomed at the EPPS by Headmistress Marion Lescott who virtually took her under her wings and prepared her well for an assignment that she was not yet aware of.
Later she was informed of her promotion to the headship of the school, upon the resignation of Mrs. Lescott.
Six weeks into the job, she indicated that she finds the task challenging but fulfilling. She has one positive thing to work with and that is, she has a supportive staff. ‘We work well together,’ she said with a smile.
Miss Pemberton is committed to ensure that the EPPS is at the top of every aspect of its development. She was recently seen at one of their primary School football games and probably the only thing she did not do, was to turn cartwheels when her school scored a goal!
She is concerned that the girls nowadays seem more motivated to learn than the boys and opines that this is because a lot of the fathers are dying and the boys are missing that father figure in the home.
However, with her training and motivation, there is no doubt that the Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School, will continue to strive under the leadership of Miss Pemberton.