Mastic Point Primary School renamed in honor of outstanding teacher, Rozelda M. Woodside

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Students of newly named Rozelda M. Woodside Primary School perform a dance tribute during the renaming ceremony.

Mastic Point Primary School was renamed Rozelda M. Woodside Primary School in honor of the veteran educator during a special ceremony Friday, March 6, 2020. Government officials, ministers of religion, family, teachers, well-wishers, local government practitioners, present and former students joined in celebrating Mrs. Woodside, a teacher of some 58 years, for her commitment to shaping the minds, hearts and characters of thousands of students. “I feel exceptionally proud today,” said Mrs. Woodside of the honor. “I feel that my labour has not gone in vain. When I look at the seeds that I have sewn all I can say is God has done the watering. He allowed me to plant the seeds and I planted them well with joy in my heart. I accept this honor.” Prime Minister the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis headed the list of officials who attended the event held on the grounds of the primary school in North Andros. Also in attendance was the Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Public Works; the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education; Pakesia Parker, Parliamentary Secretary; Carlton Bowleg, Parliamentary Secretary and MP for North Andros and the Berry Islands. The Prime Minister declared the name change and unveiled a plaque on the wall in front of the school with commemorative text.

Mr. and Mrs. Woodside enjoy the celebrations. (BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

He congratulated Mrs. Woodside on behalf of Government of The Bahamas and thanked her for her contribution to the national development of The Bahamas. “Over almost six decades of service she helped to mold the lives of thousands of young Androsians producing students of character and competence. “You have remained dedicated to your profession which despite the varied challenges in a vocation that transforms lives and builds community,” he said. The Prime Minister applauded the honoree for her sacrifice of time, resources and the countless times she volunteered to hold free afternoon classes. Mr. Bowleg, a former student of Mrs. Woodside, thanked her for the role she has played in his life. “I celebrate with you as your nephew and I stand proud today as a product that came through your hands as the MP for North Andros and the Berry Islands,” he said. The Hon. Desmond Bannister, also a former student of Mrs. Woodside, dubbed the day North Andros and Mastic Point (north and south) day.

The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, introduces the Prime Minister, who was keynote speaker.

“My mother believed that good education is the greatest gift you can give to a child. When it was time for me to go to school she went there and she grabbed this young lady and she ‘said you are going to teach my son. You are going to be his teacher’. When you want your child to be special, when you want them to have the opportunities you look for the best for them,” said Minister Bannister. Minister Lloyd described the veteran educator as a national treasure who has given her entire life to the training of children; a philanthropist who continues to assist the underprivileged, the elderly and school aged children with meals, groceries, uniforms and supplies.  Mrs. Woodside committed her life to the teaching profession.  In 1957 she taught at Staniard Creek All-Age School as a monitor. During her career she has also worked as a pupil teacher, subordinate assistant teacher and trained teacher. She joined Mastic Point Primary School in 1970 and, with the exception of a one-year transfer, she remained until her retirement in 1991. Mrs. Woodside continues to offer afternoon classes and is an active member of the Church of God of Prophecy. A reception followed the ceremony.

Carlton Bowleg, Parliamentary Secretary and MP for North Andros and the Berry Islands delivers remarks.

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