Fond farewell after 30 years at Forest Hill Primary

2011-04-01 00:00

FULL of joy and laughter, dressed to a “T”, kind towards children and caring towards others.

That’s how Forest Hill Primary pupils describe their outgoing deputy principal, Alphonso Jasson, who after 30 years at the school takes up a new post as the principal of Woodlands Primary School.

Children of different grades bade farewell to Jasson yesterday morning with poems, drama, songs and a live band performance.

It was quite clear they were not celebrating the fact that the popular teacher was going to another school.

Jasson’s teaching career began at a high school in Eshowe where he spent only a year. He moved to Forest Hill in 1981 where he spent 15 years as deputy principal.

Circumstances landed him in the teaching profession and at a primary school, but he has no regrets.

Jasson told The Witness, “I have worked with children for many years and I absolutely love them to bits. Forest Hill is more of a family to me. But it is time to move on.

“I would like to emulate what we have achieved here where I am going,” he said.

“It is important to emphasise that I have worked with capable people. They have been a dedicated and energetic bunch.”

Amid success and transformation at the school, Jasson said he has also witnessed loss.

He has buried children who died in accidents, which led to the school’s early calls for pupils’ safety while construction work continues on the N3-Chota Motala Road intersection, near where the school is situated.

Principal Basil Manuel said Forest Hill’s loss was Woodlands’ gain.

Jasson was the first to arrive each morning and would not leave until he had ensured every child was fetched from school — even if it meant him taking that child home, he said.

“He is the epitome of professionalism, especially in this day when we are looking so hard to see professional teachers. He is has a sense of duty to the school, teachers and the children. But he is also active in the community. What we will be losing is a role model par excellence,” said Manuel.

He is the epitome of professionalism, especially in this day when we are looking so hard to see professional teachers.’ Basil Manuel

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