Staff from the Children of The Rock Preschool and Nursery pose with monetary donations received from Good Samaritan Dr Denzil Streete at the Morvant school yesterday. Streete is a former Morvant resident who is now teaching in the United States.

Carisa Lee

Nine staff members of Children of The Rock Preschool and Nursery received an early Christmas gift from a Good Samaritan for their dedication during this school term.

A total of $9,000 to be split evenly between themselves was given by Dr Denzil Streete, a former Morvant resident and now the new Chief of Staff & Assistant Dean for Diversity at Berkley College in the United States.

“Eight of my nieces and nephews went to this school,” he said.

Streete told the teachers of the school, which is located along the Lady Young Road, Morvant, it was the least he could have done after they gave so much of their own time and energy in the last couple of months to ensure classes continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it wasn’t an easy process. One month before school reopened the idea of teaching virtually didn’t even occur to school officials.

“When we had registration in July/August, we did not know that school was not going to reopen physically in September. However, one of the parents asked us if it’s not open what’s our plan B and when he said that to us it clicked, we have to have a plan B,” principal Marlene Frank said.

To prepare to go online, the school started the term a month later.

“We had to get stuff in place we didn’t want to put a product out there that wasn’t ready for the children or parents,” Frank, who has been at the school for 24 years, added.

But even with that setback, teachers were able to hold 40 sessions.

But Streete’s donation meant more for a lot of the teachers than he may know, as at the beginning of the term all nine of them took a salary cut.

“Because of the pandemic, the full amount of our salaries were not able to be met,” Frank told Guardian Media.

She said one of her teachers will use the donation to pay her school fees.

“It’s gonna come in handy to help me myself…Mr Streete thanks, a million thank yous,” she said.

She said they persevered because they wanted to reach their students and continue to produce greatness from the Morvant community, like Streete and many others.

“I know of doctors, lawyers, engineers that I have taught,” Frank said.

There is no telling when the pandemic may end but Frank said the school is already making plans to include Venezuelan children who were not able to join virtually this term.

“The Church on the Rock partnered with Venezuela because they have contact with a pastor from Venezuela so they have a partnership with them,” she revealed.

Twelve Venezuelan children are registered at the school.

Frank said she is grateful for her staff and congratulated them.

“It’s a joy being their leader,” she said.