Esther Tyson: Jamaican premier educator, now author

Esther Tyson

Esther Tyson has been an educator for forty years in her native Jamaica. She has received multiple awards for her outstanding work in education. She is the highly regarded past principal of Ardenne High School from 2000 to 2011, and Tarrant High School 2013 to 2014 in Jamaica. During her tenure as principal of Ardenne, her alma mater, the school moved from being a school of second choice for students who aspired to attend high school to being one of the schools in greatest demand in the island. Under her stewardship Ardenne students excelled in several areas.

Passionate educator

Esther describes herself as “a passionate educator who is convinced that  a  positive future for Jamaica can only be realized as we educate our children to believe that they have the ability to achieve their God-given potential.” She believes Jamaica as a post-colonial society is still “burdened with the mindset  that our people are ‘less than.” We still operate within the margin of the ‘ the other’.”  It is her opinion that Jamaican educators need to see themselves as powerful life changers who can inspire children to believe in themselves and in their ability to change their story. “Therefore. it is not just technical competence that our educators need but they also need to have a growth mindset, with all of what that means for our Jamaican and Caribbean societies.”

Columnist

Along with carrying out her mission as a passionate educator, Esther found the time to write as an opinion columnist for the Jamaican Gleaner, Jamaica’s premier newspaper, from 2007 to 2016. In her column she wrote on social issues such as parenting, family life, and education in Jamaica. 

Her experience as an educator has exposed her to the strengths and the weaknesses of the Jamaican education system, which she has creatively described in her recently published book.

New Book

This book, Ah Suh Me See It, Ah Suh Me Say It, Commentary on the Social and Educational Issues in Jamaica, is a compilation of the articles she wrote as a columnist for the Gleaner.

According to Ronnie, Thwaites for Jamaican Minister of Education, and current member of parliament, “Esther Tyson offers joyous and effective alternatives to the hedonism of contemporary social habits, as well as the well-intentioned but fundamentally unjust educational structures. She writes from the perspective of a Christian servant-leader, not in shrill, dogmatic terms, but with the clarity (and charity) of vision and expression of someone firm in her principles, yet gentle in her strength.”  

Prior to authoring her new book Esther wrote one of the chapters in the book “Leadership for Success: The Jamaican School Experience” along with 16 other principals from primary, new secondary and traditional high schools.

Participating in South Florida book festival

Esther has been invited to participate in the 7th Annual Book Life South Florida Book Festival presented by the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 on July 20 and 21. At the festival she will join Susan A. Colton in a Panel Discussion on Public Education in Florida and abroad. This discussion will be from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Esther will also be signing her new book at the festival, and copies of the book will also be on sale.

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