Thursday 9 April, 2020

Ocho Rios Primary teacher dies after illness; school in mourning

Donald Rowe

Donald Rowe

Classes were dismissed early at Ocho Rios Primary School in St Ann on Monday as students and staff members mourned the death of grade six teacher, Donald Rowe.

The educator, said to be in his 40s, died on Sunday after a brief illness, Loop News understands.

Officials from the Ministry of Education visited the school to provide grief counselling to students and teachers.

Other stakeholders, including the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA), the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) and past principals of the school, have also been providing support.

The school advised parents not to send students on the afternoon shift to school, while parents of students who turned up for the morning session were contacted to collect their children.

Since news of the teacher’s passing emerged on Sunday, Rowe has been described on Facebook as a beloved educator who inspired his students to strive for excellence.

Among those commenting on the teacher’s passing on Facebook was JTA President, Owen Speid.

"Wonderful worker... May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon him," Speid posted.

Social media user, Ziva Niara, posted: "Speechless... Excellent, supportive, sweetheart; the most helpful person I know. Can’t take one more death news... RIP Mr Donald Rowe."

Another Facebook user, Suzette Lyle, posted: "Sincere condolences to the Ocho Rios Primary School staff, students and parents upon the sudden passing of Mr (Donald) Rowe, a grade six teacher. An exceptional teacher who has inspired many. May God bless his soul."

Meanwhile, Aicelasmailliw Williams detailed on her Facebook post her final encounter with the educator.

"RIP. Heard early in the morning (Sunday), but didn't want to believe it. I remember the last time we met you were buying your house and I was so happy for you. Such is life my friend.

“Heaven has called home another angel. 

"You were that sweet soul who never ignored your friends. Always smiling, always have a story to tell. That pullover you gave me will always serve as a memory of you. Sleep on, my dear friend 😭😭😭."

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