My sister and I moved to St. Vincent’s, St. Mary’s Bay when our Mom passed away. I was just 9 years old and my sister and I were placed in foster care with a lovely family. I was always a child who loved and excelled in school. However, my English teacher Mrs. Elizabeth (Betty) (Hayward) Stamp was such an inspirational teacher that she instilled in me the belief that whatever I set my mind to I could do! She often said to me “Mary, whatever you want to be, you can be”.
Moving to a small community far from family was very difficult, but teachers like Mrs. Stamp can help
a child believe in themselves and reach for the stars! That’s exactly what I did! I recently retired from a very successful career in Health and Education in this province. My final years were in senior management in the school system where I oversaw all aspects of Student Support Services for the largest school district in the province.
Mrs. Stamp was very proud of my professional accomplishments. I know that I would have pursued post secondary education anyways but teachers like Mrs. Stamp can changes lives! I fondly remember having the Grade 9 English curriculum completed within several months of beginning the school year and Mrs. Stamp, being the innovative teacher that she was, assigned Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as my enrichment project. By 10th grade, she had me studying such things as John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Regained!- A little bit above grade level!
Mrs. Stamp challenged me to the limit and made me believe that I could really achieve whatever I set my mind to! Thank you, Mrs. Stamp! You helped me believe that I could be whatever I wanted to be and to reach for the stars! You were an amazing teacher and I would like to thank you once again for being the awesome teacher that you were and the amazing person that you are! You stretched me to reach beyond and I am deeply indebted to you for your academic coaching!
Mary (Walsh) Devereaux, B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Sc. (Clin. Psych.). Reg. Psych.