Governor’s Harbour Primary renamed Emily G. Petty Primary School
Retired educator Emily Georgenia Petty was honored with the renaming of the Governor’s Harbour Primary School, in the settlement of her birth, to the Emily G. Petty Primary School.
Petty, who taught for almost half-a-century, said she was grateful to God for the honor.
“I am also thankful for the government and the people of The Bahamas, especially Eleuthera, for supporting it so that it can come to fruition. I am elated beyond measure,” said Petty.
She promised to do everything within her power to ensure the school maintains high standards – “A school of first choice, with students and teachers of first choice, in a district of first choice”, she said.
The renaming ceremony took place on Friday, May 3.
Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said it was fitting to rename the school in Petty’s honor as she had distinguished herself as a master teacher among her peers, and embodied integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech in her teaching characteristics as she influenced the lives of thousands.
School Principal Tanya McPhee-Pinder said Petty’s passion had afforded her opportunities to inspire many.
The veteran educator’s impact was not confined to the classroom, made evident by the testimonies presented during the ceremony to her civic and religious involvement in the development of hundreds of people – one of which was from Stephen “Hank” Johnson, Central and South Eleuthera member of parliament, a former student of Petty’s who spoke to the values she instilled in him.
Petty retired from teaching in August 2016 after 46 years.
Petty received her early education at the former Governor’s Harbour All-Age School. Upon graduating, she attended Queen’s College (QC) in New Providence (1966-1969) on an academic scholarship where she earned a reputation as one of the fastest female sprinters and best field athletes in the country. Her specialty events were the 100 meters, 200 meters and the long jump.
Upon completion of QC, Petty returned to Governor’s Harbour, and as an untrained teacher under the tutelage of Reverend Frederick Kelly, supervised the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examination for two years. In 1972 she enrolled at the Bahamas Teachers College where she majored in physical education with a minor in social sciences. She graduated with honors in 1974 and transferred to the Governor’s Harbour High School and was promoted to senior mistress in 1978.
Between 1992 and early 2008, she saw stints between the Emma Cooper Primary School and the James Cistern Primary School. In the fall of 2008, she was appointed principal at the school now named in her honor, where she remained until she retired in 2016.
The Emily G. Petty Primary School originated from the Governor’s Harbour All-Age School which was opened on March 9, 1911.
Throughout the ceremony, heartwarming musical and poetic tributes were offered by students of EGPPS and family members of Petty. Reverend Carla Culmer, president of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church (BCMC), blessed the renamed building. Immediately following the service was the unveiling of the plaque and the school’s sign.