From Troy to Veronica Campbell Primary - Acting principal hopes school will get better facilities

January 16, 2018
Clayton Collins, retired principal of Troy Primary School.
Troy Primary's acting principal Keresha McIntoch.

Troy Primary has been around since 1884. It was once an all-age school, with the students staying there until age 15. With the creation of Troy High School, it is now a primary school with a population of 260 students.

Troy Primary is the school where two-time Olympic 200-metres gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown spent her early days. Minister of Sports Olivia Grange has announced that the school will be renamed the Veronica Campbell Primary School.

Clayton Collins, the recently retired principal of the school, is happy about the change of name for the school.

"It will mean a world of good for the school. More national recognition will now come to the school," said Collins, who spent 29 years at Troy Primary.

The retired principal said that he hopes that the renaming of the school will be just one of the many good things in place for Troy Primary.

"We have open classrooms divided only by chalkboard. This, I hope, will be changed to match the new profile the school will get," he said.

Collins remembers the early days of Veronica Campbell as a sprinter.

"As a Class-4 athlete she was far, far ahead of her competitors. I coached her then, but the school just did not have the capacity to develop the displayed talent. I got her to Vere Technical and the rest is history," remarked the retired principal.

Troy Primary's acting principal Keresha McIntoch giggled with excitement when asked what it means to have the school renamed in honour of one of Jamaica's greatest athletes. Like Collins, she is hoping that the change in name will be accompanied by increased investment in the school.

"When I visit other primary schools and see the kind of facilities they have, I am jealous. You see them with equipped libraries, technologically equipped, and you wish that would come to Troy," she remarked.

She said that she is overjoyed to have the school named after one on Troy's finest daughters.

"To have a legend like Veronica having her name affixed to the school can be motivational. Students can see where one can get with hard work and dedication. I am sure when Veronica visits the school it will mean a lot, not only to the students but the community at large," the acting principal said.

Minister Grange last week said that "plans are well advanced for Troy Primary, which occupies a building which is over 100 years old, to be renamed for Veronica. It is one of the Jamaica 55 Legacy Projects." She said also that the old teacher's cottage at Troy Primary would be restored, subject to approval from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, and that the school building and property would be renovated.

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