Wildcats Celebrate Tenth Anniversary of JHHS Naming

TENTH ANNVERSARY — Jack Hayward High School yesterday celebrated the tenth anniversary of its official naming with a special cermony held in the school’s gymnasium. Principal Benjamin Stubbs (right), assistant director of education Damaris Thompson (centre) and senior education officer in charge of professional development Mary Cooper are pictured cutting the “birthday” cake while students look on.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the official naming of the Jack Hayward High School, the Wildcats hosted a special ceremony yesterday during which they gave thanks for the past decade of achievement.

Students, teachers and officials from the Ministry of Education filled the gymnasium where they heard from Frances Singer-Hayward, who was not in attendance, but whose remarks were read by senior mistress, Delores Kellman-Jones.

Singer-Hayward noted that it was incredible to think of how quickly the last 10 years have gone by, noting that she vividly remembers the original gathering to celebrate the naming in 1998.

"It is of course a heartbreak for me not to be with you on this special day," she wrote. "There has been so much to be proud of and so much progress as our beloved school has grown and emerged among the leaders in every field of its wonderful endeavours."

Singer-Hayward said it has been her "indescribable joy and privilege" to have been able to work so closely with the school.

"Your wonderful triumphs have been my triumphs -- uplifting my heart and making me, and certainly Sir Jack, so unbelievably proud," she said.

Singer-Hayward said she looked forward to the next 10 years, and hoped that the momentum of excellence and achievement would continue for the institution.

"You can all be certain that from wherever I may be in my travels, my heart and thoughts are always with all of you and my deep love and devotion will always remain as one of the most important joyous facets of my life," she wrote.

Kellman-Jones reminded the students that although the Haywards no longer reside on the island, their many contributions have left a lasting imprint in the halls of the school.

Singer-Hayward has been instrumental in introducing and maintaining many programmes at the school over the last 10 years, including hosting a yearly luncheon for outstanding academic and athletic students, assisting the cheerleaders with travel expenses for many years, purchasing plaques and trophies for the school's annual awards ceremony and fully sponsoring the school's inter-high talent competition.

She also was responsible for sponsoring two students and chaperones each year to attend the exchange programme at The Harbour for Boys and Girls in New York and for furnishing the school's Hospitality Suite.

The schools website, jhhigh.org was established by her, and she more recently lent support to the school's 2008 Junior Junkanoo group.

School principal Benjamin Stubbs said both students and administrators were very excited about the milestone and said he thought it was fitting to celebrate the school's legacy and its accomplishments.

He also said it was important that the occasion also be used to express thanks to Singer-Hayward for her support and contributions over the years.

"She has been what we considered to be a true patron over the years to us and we couldn't let this time go by without saying thanks, showing our appreciation and thoughfulnes or all that she's done for us over the years," he said.

"We are thankful to God for the past 10 years... We consider oursleves to be the school of champions...We are proud of our history and we want to assure the community of Grand Bahama that it is our continued purpose and desire to make Jack Hayward High School even better than it is today."

During the morning's festivities, Principal Stubbs, Assistant Director of Education Damaris Thomp-son and senior education officer in charge of professional development, Mary Cooper, also cut a "birthday" cake for the school. The students were informed that they would each receive a slice of cake, courtesy of Singer-Hawyard as part of the celebrations.

Entertainment then followed, with performances by the school's step team, cheerleaders and Junkanoo group.