— Isaac A. David, Sr. Memorial School celebrates 53rd gala anniversary
As the Isaac A. David, Sr. Memorial High School, located in Paynesville, observes its 53rd anniversary, the principal of the school, Mrs. Hattie Wureh Hunder, has said that she will continue to remain grateful to God for sustaining the institution.
Mrs. Hunder, in a statement, called on the administrators, board of directors, stakeholders, teachers, support staff, parents, and students to be diligent in ensuring that the mission, vision and core values of the school are achieved.
The school was established in 1968 as the Paynesville Private School by Mrs. Sadie L. DeShield and Mrs. Christine Tolbert Norman.
Classes began on March 3 of that year with three teachers and an enrollment of eleven students in Kindergarten and up to Second Grade. Over time, the school grew to attain junior high status and later, senior high school status.
The school is almost fully digitized and offers a remote learning system that came in very handy during the closure of schools as a result of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). A flat-screen television in each class ensures that students have adequate visuals to aid their understanding of the lessons taught. However, teachers are well versed in online instruction methods to enable them to conduct remote classes. The school has a fully equipped and functioning science lab and computer lab. The entire campus is outfitted with a wireless network connection that enables faculty, staff and students to browse the internet from any part of the campus, including in the school’s garden.
IADSMS has integrated into its curriculum a series of ‘life skills’ courses, such as agriculture, carpentry, pastry-making and soap-making. According to the principal, it is necessary that, in addition to the academic knowledge acquired at IADSMS, students walk away with at least one productive skill.
“It is worth noting that we have been restructuring, re-branding, reforming and ensuring the consistent professional development of staff, over the last two years,” Mrs. Hunder said. “We strive to be on par with the rest of the world in terms of technology and the provision of quality education.
“Isaac A David Sr. Memorial School has reached a 53-year milestone in the existence of this School. We continue to remain grateful to God who has sustained this great institution. The processes leading to where we want to be might be long and hard, but we will do all within our power to ensure that the dreams and aspirations of the founders are at the heart of all that we do.”
She said though there are tough decisions but they will be made; drastic changes will take place but, at the end of the day, “we will stand tall and remain the example for others to follow.”
Mrs. Hunder extended thanks to all the stakeholders, especially the Founders, Mrs. Sadie L. DeShield and Mrs. Christine Tolbert Norman, “for establishing this school that has prepared many great leaders in our country. We also thank the Board of Directors, headed by Mr. Laurence C. Norman, for its unlimited contributions to the advancement of lsaac A. David, Sr. Memorial School (IADSMS).”
She further noted that the world over, while schools are hit by disruptions caused by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), economies have declined, putting serious financial constraints on all institutions.
“Our institution is also greatly affected by these major challenges. We must therefore adjust appropriately to sustain our noble institution. Despite all of these major setbacks, we continue to strive for excellence in all that we do. To achieve this, we must all collaborate as administrators, board, stakeholders, teachers, support staff, parents, and students. As we enter this new academic year, we must be diligent in ensuring that the Mission, Vision and core values of the Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School are attained.
“As you already know, Isaac A. David, Sr. Memorial School is an institution designed to produce cutting-edge future leaders of Liberia and the world; therefore, as faculty and staff members of IADSMS, we should pledge our allegiance to this mission, and our Core Values must reﬂect this in our daily interactions with students and parents.
We commend you all for your diligence and continued commitment to your respective duties as faculty and staff,” the statement added.
53rd anniversary celebration
IADSMS will celebrate its 53rd gala anniversary on Friday, March 5, under the theme: “Help Keep a Child in School”. Activities include a brief indoor program beginning at 9:00 a.m., followed by kickball and football matches between students of ELWA High School, Liberian Reconstruction Education Complex (LREC), Paynesville Harvest Christian Academy and the hosts, Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School.
An interesting highlight of the celebration will be the sale of “life skills products” made by IADSMS students. Food and soft drinks will also be available for sale. There will be a rally during the program to raise funds for needy students’ tuition and fees for the current academic year, 2020/2021.
In December 1969, construction work began on the ﬁrst building under the leadership of the late Mrs. Victoria A.Tolbert, then Chairperson of the Board of Directors.
At the formal opening of the School in March of 1971, the School was renamed the Isaac A. David, Sr. Memorial School in honor of the late Honorable Isaac A.David, Sr., a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia.
Six years later, the School was raised from Elementary to Junior High level, and with the dream and vision of the Founders of the School, “To educate, liberate, enlighten, and empower future leaders of Liberia,” the School is now accredited and registered by the Ministry of Education as a Senior High School, offering Computer Science and Life Skills to students from grades 4–12.
The process of becoming a Senior High School began in January 2008 when Mrs. Christine Tolbert Norman, Co-Founder and Consultant of the School, announced at the close of the academic year 2007/2008 that the School would be raised to the Senior High Level beginning the academic year 2008/2009.
With just three months of vigorous planning, characterized by the support and coordination of Mrs. Norman, Madam Rachael Teah, Mr. Konah L. Parker (deceased), the authorities of the County Education Ofﬁce, and the Ministry of Education, the School was ofﬁcially granted Senior High status and became operational in September 2008.
As the Isaac A.David, Sr. Memorial School partners with the Government of Liberia in its efforts to provide quality educational opportunities to Liberian students and positively impact the government’s development agenda, the accreditation of the institution as a Senior High posed yet another challenge to the Administration, which was providing accommodation for the Senior High students.
It was in this light that the School embarked upon the construction of an eight-room, two-storey building annex, comprising six classrooms, a science laboratory, a computer lab, and an auditorium. Three (3) rooms on the top level convert into an auditorium when needed. Construction began in November 2009, and the ﬁrst phase of the project was completed by January 2011.
The annex was opened for use on January 17 at the beginning of the second semester of 2010/2011.
In March 2018, the School celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Isaac A. David School is governed by a Board of Directors, headed by Mr.Laurence C.Norman as its Chairman.
Other Board Members are: Mrs. Christine Tolbert Norman, Mrs. Sadie L. DeShield, Counselor Abla Williams, Mr. Charles A. Snetter, Mrs. Hattie Wureh Hunder, Mrs. Lesa Givens, Mrs. Charrise B. Findley, and Dr. Rose Jallah Macauley. The School also employs consultants when necessary and is supported by the US-based Isaac A.David Alumni Association.
The School has an active Parents-Teachers Association (PTA).