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Elmore Stoutt shares big dreams for ESHS

Elmore Stoutt shares big dreams for ESHS

Many stalwarts never live to see buildings erected in their honour and perhaps that’s why long-time educator Elmore Stoutt beamed with pride and humility as he shared in the grand ceremony that marked the reopening of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS).
Tuesday, January 3, ESHS — the largest and oldest high school in the territory — was officially handed over to administrators and students; five years after it was destroyed by two major hurricanes that hit the territory. The redevelopment was valued at some $14.2 million.

Stoutt shared with BVI News some of the hopes he has for the institution that has impacted the lives of many Virgin Islanders. He said he wants the school to be properly maintained from now on and like the true disciplinarian he is — he wants students to exemplify good manners and acceptable behaviours.

“I want to see administrative structures put in place to cause change to happen. It is important that it grows from strength to strength. One of the things I would like to see is an Assembly Hall or something like that so they (students) can be comfortable when they come and the attention span will not be lacking,” Stoutt told BVI News.

He also told our news centre that he is honoured to be the namesake of a national institution — something he never expected.

“It’s a special honour, I never thought in my whole life that something like this would happen. But it happened and I appreciate it,” Stoutt said.

Mr Stoutt is known as a community builder, and for more than fifty years, he has been involved in the advancement of young people. He has also played an important role in many aspects of community development.

He began his teaching career in 1959 at the age of 14 as a Pupil Teacher at the West End School. Following completion of his teacher’s training at the Leeward Islands Teacher Training College in 1969, he served as head teacher at a number of schools on Tortola.

Further training at the University of the West Indies and at Murray House College and the University of Hull in the UK led him to the Department of Education and Culture where he worked in Guidance Counselling and Education Management, and also as Truancy Officer.

He returned to active teaching and served 18 years as principal of the BVI High School, which has been renamed the Elmore Stoutt High School in his honour.

His contributions in the field of education, as a teacher, principal, truancy officer and programme administrator have been outstanding. Furthermore, Mr Stoutt has been, and still is, a major player in the preservation of Virgin Islands culture through music and storytelling.
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