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George Town Primary School Renamed in Honour of Ms. Sharon Marie Martin MBE, Cert. Hon.

Community 22 Feb, 2024 Follow News

Ms. Sharon Marie Martin MBE, Cert. Hon.

(l-r) Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Premier, Minister for Finance, Education, District Administration, Lands and Cabinet Office), Hon. Kenneth Bryan (Minister for Tourism and Ports), Ms. Sharon Mari

By Stacey-Ann Anderson

Communications Manager

Ministry of Education

On Tuesday (13 February), the George Town Primary School was officially renamed the Sharon (Marie) Martin Primary School, welcoming Ms. Marie Martin herself, several Cabinet Ministers, teachers, family and the wider community to share in the jubilations of the event.

Mrs. Sharon Campbell-Danvers, Principal of the Sharon Marie Martin Primary School, welcomed guests, highlighting the significance of the event, which was held to honour Ms. Martin during her still very active retirement. She described Ms. Martin as a figure who had touched the lives of so many across generations throughout her tenure in education across Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman.  

Minister for Tourism and Ports, the Hon. Kenneth Bryan MP, expressed his own fond memories of Ms. Marie Martin during his time spent under her care and guidance as a student, describing Ms. Martin as a mentor and role model remarking, “In tribute to a true hero of education in our beloved country, for decades Ms. Sharon Marie Martin has dedicated her life to shaping the minds and the futures of generations of Caymanian children. Her unwavering commitment, tireless efforts and passion for education have left an indelible mark on countless lives”.

Community Activist Ms. Lucille Seymour MBE, BEM, JP, thanked The Premier and Minister for Finance, Education, District Administration & Lands and Cabinet Office, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and ministers for their recognition of Ms. Martin’s achievements. Ms. Seymour acknowledged highlights in her own life, such as her time as Ms. Martin’s teacher and mentor. Ms. Seymour remarked, “My dear friend, when you get to the age I am, and you look back on the people you’ve taught, and you see them ascending and ascending until the whole world is named after them, you say to yourself, I’ve done well”. Ms. Seymour continued “Today is significant as we officially change George Town’s Primary School to the Sharon Marie Martin Primary School, this change is a tribute to a remarkable woman whose life exemplifies the core values of our school.”

Ms Casey Swaby, a teacher at George Town Primary School, acknowledged Ms Martin as an “educational stalwart” and “mother to many”. Ms. Swaby explored the life and achievements of Ms. Martin, regaling the packed assembly on Ms. Martin’s illustrious journey through higher education, noting her success at Newcastle Upon Tyne University, UK in 1995 where she attained her Master’s Degree in Education, before returning to Grand Cayman. Ms. Swaby accentuated Ms. Martin’s many accolades but remarked, “None of these awards speaks volumes like the joy she experiences when one of her children does well. She is known to follow them all the way to University and beyond. That was and always is her greatest gift.”

To a standing ovation, Ms. Sharon Marie Martin MBE, Cert. Hon took to the podium, welcoming everyone in attendance, stating, “To say I am humbled and honoured is the understatement of the century”. Ms Martin continued, “To the Premier, the Honourable Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, and her Cabinet, I extend a wholehearted thank you for bestowing such an honour upon me. For all of those who have been a part of my journey, and there have been many, I thank you all”. Ms. Martin humoured the assembly with past stories and anecdotes from her career across the Cayman Islands, erupting much laughter, smiles, cheers and applause. Ms. Martin concluded her speech by thanking her family, friends, and the George Town community for adopting her and all her students, past and present, with a final message to her late mother, who gave her the values to grow into who she is today.

The Premier and Minister for Finance, Education, District Administration & Lands and Cabinet Office, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, acknowledged the genuine passion and admiration in the words that had already been given to Ms. Martin and what a privilege it was that she was there with them to hear it. She emphasized the importance of the day and its deliberate undertaking before the Agricultural Show 2024, stating, “Marie should not have to share the stage with anyone else, and so today is your day, Marie, and we are extremely honoured not only as a fellow educator, a fellow Cayman Brac’er but a fellow Christian…Truly Marie has displayed at all material times that she is a servant leader”.

Ms. Lyneth Monteith, Acting Chief Officer for the Ministry of Education, delivered the vote of thanks.

The Premier then unveiled the new sign for Sharon (Marie) Martin Primary School. She was assisted by Minister Bryan and Ms. Martin.   

The event culminated with refreshments and an opportunity for community members to speak with and acknowledge Ms. Martin and her achievements.

To learn more about the Ministry of Education, visit www.gov.ky/education .

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