The Spirit of Clovelly Park provides a peek into the heart and mind of a young Jamaican woman who struggles through her initial reluctance and makes her way into a world of boisterous teenage boys less interested in reading than in sports. She opens their minds to the power of words and the rewards to be gained from committing themselves to personal development and the pursuit of knowledge. Weaving in vignettes from her own schooling and upbringing, Frances-Marie Coke skillfully pinpoints the interplay between the school experiences of her boys and the contradictions in their society during a period of turbulence and transformation in Jamaica. This memoir will raise eyebrows while eliciting frowns, chuckles and warm reflections about school life. It will raise questions about education, adolescent boys, career choices and teacher preparation. It illustrates the outcomes that can be achieved when teachers care enough to learn and grow into new roles that enable them to meet the needs of students and convert possibilities into reality. Discerning teachers, shapers of education policy, and students in teacher training will benefit from the lessons to be learned from this engaging and inspiring memoir. Thousands of Kingston College past students scattered in various countries, but still deeply committed to their school, will eagerly reach for this rich chunk of its history.
About the Author
Frances-Marie Coke is a lifelong educator, born in Jamaica. After a decade at Kingston College she worked in personnel and human resource management, designing and facilitating a wide range of training and development programmes. As an administrator and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, she contributed to the work of the Mona School of Business, a major provider of management education in the Caribbean region.
Writing has been a major part of her life for over four decades. She won several prizes for poetry, fiction, and playwriting in literary competitions staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. Her poems have appeared in The Jamaica Observer Literary Arts magazine, The Caribbean Writer, the Australian publication Kunapippi, and three Jamaica Observer literary publications, Bearing Witness 1, Bearing Witness 2, and Bearing Witness 3. Since relocating to Florida, she has continued to write and work in education.
Her publications include two volumes of poetry: Intersections published by Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, UK and The Balm of Dusk Lilies published by the Jamaica Observer Literary Publications.