Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Tributes paid to slain Excelsior High vice-principal

Colleen Walker

Colleen Walker

As police investigators step up their probe into the murder of Excelsior High School Vice Principal, Colleen Walker, at her St Andrew home on Thursday, several educators, friends and past students of the institution have been left grief-stricken by the tragic development.

Walker was reportedly shot by a lone gunman at her Queensbury, St Andrew home on Thursday afternoon. Reports are that there was no robbery, and she was shot multiple times.

The police reported that Walker was at her home tending to her garden when a man approached her and engaged her in a brief conversation. The man reportedly walked off a short distance before returning and opening fire, hitting the school teacher who later succumbed to her injuries.

Walker has been a vice-principal at the Mountain View Avenue-based institution in St Andrew for some 12 years, and has been hailed as a dedicated educator by her peers.

A teacher at a prominent Kingston high school where Walker’s son attends as a sixth former, was taken aback by her colleague’s untimely death, and expressed sadness.

“I taught her son. She was a good woman and we cannot come to grips with this wicked act. This is a sad day for education in Jamaica,” the teacher, who wished to remain unidentified, told Loop News.

Another educator on social media site, Facebook, detailed his own interactions with Walker.

"During my internship at Excelsior High, she gave me and my other colleagues a prep talk as we ventured in the career as teachers. I admired the insights she gave us, and signing off our consent forms for us to taste our first dose of what it is like being a teacher," he wrote.

"Sad times... Why people still have wicked intentions during a global pandemic?" he quizzed.

Several past students of Excelsior High also posted their own reflections on the life of Colleen Walker.

Leading the way with the tributes was Jamar Apostolic Howell.

"Rest in peace Miss Walker. It was couple weeks ago you plastered this message on my wall, to call you with your number. I remember calling you, saying, (why) you couldn't private message me, (and) you laughed. You said to me, 'Jamar, I haven't heard from you in a while, how are you doing? You still in love with QueenZill McKenzie?'

“I laughed so hard and said, 'Ms Walker, you believe in me and Zill so much," Howell wrote on his Facebook page.

"Ms. Walker was one of my number one supporters when I was nominated for head boy... She believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. This one touches home. Rest in Peace..." he added.

Colleen Walker also contribution to education by publishing the textbook, 'Office Administration for CSEC Examination' in 2012. She was working on another book at the time of her death, based on reports.

Mark Golding

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South St Andrew, Mark Golding, also joined those in expressing condolences to the family of the slain educator.

"Jamaica is mourning the very sad and despicable killing of Colleen Walker, vice-principal of Excelsior High School," wrote the politician on his Facebook account.

"I have been advised that Ms Walker graduated from Trench Town Comprehensive High School in South St Andrew in the class of 1985-86, and lived in Jones Town during her school years.

"That connection makes her untimely and shocking demise even more poignant, as we have lost someone who built a very successful career in education on the foundation of an upbringing in our community," Golding added.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends, and to her Excelsior family as well. RIP Ms Colleen Walker," concluded Golding, who also serves as the People's National Party's (PNP) Spokesman on Finance.

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