Kingsway Celebrates 75 years of Adventist Christian Education
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, January 18, 2018
The Kingsway High and Prep. School celebrated its 75th Anniversary at a special service of thanksgiving organized by the Jamaica chapter of the Kingsway Alumni Association at the Kencot SDA Church on January 13, 2018. The service was held under the theme “Building on the past, embracing the future,” and attracted attendance of alumni from New York, Miami and Canada who came to celebrate this important milestone.
Teachers, students, parents, principals and school administrators joined with alumni to give glory to God for the tremendous progress made by the school since it commenced operation on January 10, 1943.
Past student, lifelong educator and outstanding University Professor, Dr. Ouida Spleen Westley, presented a plaque to the school on behalf of the Kingsway High School Alumni Association, NY Chapter. The plaque was presented in recognition of the school’s contribution to the excellent scholastic performance and professional achievement of the 1st four year graduating class of 1946 of which she was a member.
President of East Jamaica Conference and board chairman of Kingsway High and Preparatory Schools, Dr. Eric Nathan welcomed everyone who attended the special service and commended Kingsway High and Prep School for carrying out the mandate of the pioneers of Adventist Education in Jamaica.
He brought greetings on behalf of the Conference and commended the school for carrying on the baton that has been handed down by pioneers of Adventist Christian education in Jamaica over seventy years ago.
The field Leader said the Adventist Church has a serious responsibility not just to teach basic subjects, but to introduce students to God. He borrowed from the words of Adventist founder and prophetess E.G. White when he said “the goal of education and redemption are the
same,” and stated that students should not only be prepared to take their place in this world only but the world to come.
Dr. Donna Brown, Education Director, EJC, congratulated Kingsway High School for its achievements of the past 75 years and praised God for the tremendous contribution the school has made to society over the years.
“I must say that I am elated. I can hardly contain myself for yet again, I have proven that God is worthy to be praised,” she exclaimed as she brought greetings on behalf of the Education Department.
“Some of our stakeholders might be here and others might be elsewhare but right now we are in celebratory mood,” she added.
Elder Keith Nugent President, Kingsway High School Alumni Association, Jamaica Chapter (Class of 1990), saluted those who had served in the past when he addressed the congregation.
“We could not be where we are without recognizing the contributions of those who have gone on before us,”said Nugent.
“Whether you were a teacher, student, administrat or parent, in whatever shape or form you have contributed in the past, we salute you.”
Guest speaker for the day, Dr. Davecito Swaby, who is an alumnus of the Class of 1983 and now pastors the Apple Creek SDA Church, Ontario Canada, highlighted the importance of the home, church and school in the life of children. He declared that the Kings Way High School educational system is designed to cater to the whole man which takes in the spiritual, physical, social and intellectual being, and not just academic.
Dr. Swaby thanked the many teachers who taught at the institution who could have worked in public schools but chose instead to serve and share their Christian values. “ I want you to know that we have teachers with Christian values, teachers who are not less educated than others are who could have been employed in any of the other prestigious institutions around but they have chosen to accept the call of God in service for the people of God.” “We have dedicated, committed, passionate, caring and compassionate teachers who love the Lord with all their hearts,” he said during his presentation.
Dr. Swaby, who once worked as a pastor in East Jamaica Conference said for teachers working at Kingsway, “it’s not just a job but a calling.” “It’s a calling to prepare students not only for this life but for the life to come,” he added.
Swaby noted that the school has limitations might not have the most elegant edifice or school grounds but that the school has provided a solid foundation for many who have gone on to do well for themselves and their family. He noted the progress of the school, citing that 1943 the school started with 83 students and 5 teachers while today, the student population stands at 663 students with 76 faculty and staff.
Pastor Michael Henry, Education Director, Jamaica Union Conference (JAMU), spoke with pride when he conveyed congratulations to the school and its administrators for the part they have played in advancing Adventist Christian education in Jamaica.
He brought greetings on behalf of the Administrators and the Education Department of JAMU as well as the wider organization of twenty six other institutions that carry the banner and brand of Adventist Christian education in Jamaica.
In his address to the church, Pastor Henry reflected on the different types of people that have made significant contribution to the school during since its inception.
“At the core we are talking about somebody who cleaned the bathrooms at the school. The people who helped to keep the grounds clean. We are talking about those who emptied the garbage, those who cooked the food and teachers who worked with students and cried and prayed over them,” Henry said.
He also lauded the principals and board chairmen who were there to guide the school during difficult times.
Acting Principal of the School, Mrs. Alethea Williams, said it gave her a wonderful feeling to see the school celebrate 75 years. She commended the staff for their commitment, hard work and support for the school. Mrs. Williams said the school was indebted to the various stakeholders for their contribution over the many years.
Noting that Kingsway High School was the only Seventh-day Adventist High School in the Conference, the Acting Principal could not resist the tempation to add that Kings Way Prep. School was the best Prep. School in East Jamaica Conference.
A fun day was planned for Sunday January 14 on the school grounds at the V.H. Percy Center where children and past students were able to enjoy rides and have fun with their teachers and classmates.
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