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Educator Dr. Urica Corselle Smith.
Educator Dr. Urica Corselle Smith.
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By Eddy Smith

Unfaltering passion, unyielding dedication, and an unrivaled commitment to education — these are the hallmarks of Dr. Urica Corselle Smith’s illustrious 40-year career teaching from kindergarten to fifth form, then principal. As she prepares for her well-earned retirement, we take a moment to celebrate her inspiring journey and the indelible imprint she has left on generations of students.

Smith’s journey began on a bright Tuesday morning, Nov. 1, 1983, when she stepped into the Barrouallie Government School as a young teacher. Little did she know then, the extraordinary path that lay ahead.

After her marriage in November 1988 to Pastor Edward Dave Smith of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, she moved to the Mary Hutchinson Primary School, then called the Ashton Government School. Here, her foresight and passion for advocacy became evident, setting the stage for a career marked by transformative initiatives and lasting change.

Her commitment to her students and her dedication to academic excellence shone bright when she was transferred to Union Island Secondary School in January 1991. Under her mentorship, the school achieved remarkable success, with a 100% pass rate in food and nutrition and 50% in home management — then an unprecedented achievement for the school in those subjects.

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October 1991 marked a significant turning point in her career. Answering a higher calling and showcasing her unwavering commitment to her faith and community, Smith made the pivotal decision to leave her position in the government service. She moved to the Northern Grenadines to serve the Bequia Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School, which desperately needed a home economics teacher. The results spoke for themselves, with over 80% of her students achieving high passes during her tenure.

With a strong belief in continuous learning and improvement, Smith attended the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Teachers College in 1994, completing her course in June 1996, even amidst personal and professional transitions. On Jan. 6, 1997, she returned to public service at the Touruma Government School, demonstrating a resilience and commitment that went above and beyond the call of duty. She defied natural elements like the challenging Rabacca Dry River and continued serving her students, embodying the spirit of perseverance and determination.

Smith’s leadership skills flourished at the Calder Primary School, under the mentorship of John Daisley and Hyacinth Browne. Recognising her potential, Daisley recommended her to the Ministry of Education to be a literacy coordinator, a role she embraced with zest. This led to her receiving a scholarship to pursue studies in literacy (Bachelor of Education) as part of the government’s education revolution.

Her journey led her to the Calliaqua Anglican School in 2007 and Brighton Methodist School in 2011, where she served as literacy coordinator, deputy principal, and eventually as principal of the Calliaqua Anglican School in 2016. Alongside these roles, she pursued her academic interests, successfully earning her Master’s degree in literacy in 2011 and successfully defending her doctoral dissertation at the University of the West Indies in December 2018.

Smith’s career stands as a beacon of dedication and service to her nation. A proud mother of three sons — Edson, Carson, and Davidson — her influence extends beyond her family, touching the lives of hundreds of her students.

As we celebrate her remarkable career, we’re reminded of the powerful impact one passionate individual can have on a community and nation. Her story serves as a testament to the transformative power of education and the lasting impact of dedication and service. As she retires from her role as a principal, Smith leaves a legacy of unwavering commitment to her students and her faith, forever echoing in the halls of the institutions she served.

7 replies on “A beacon of learning: the 4-decade journey of Dr. Urica Corselle Smith”

  1. Eugena Charles says:

    Edson, this genuinely captures the essence and character of my sister and best pal, Dr. Corsel Smith and the indelible imprint she has left in the educational system of SVG.I know her retirement will leave a void that cannot be filled. Dr.Smith, you have climbed many mountains; fought many battles, ran many races yet you emerged victorious. Your fortitude, tenacity and unwavering faith has kept you standing tall. I am so proud of you. Take a well deserved bow and retire in peace and love. You need the rest.Thank God the likes of the tomfoolery Ministry of Education and their acolytes did not kill you before your time. Thank God for carrying you safely to the finish line. With God’s help, have a long and happy retirement. Long live this Afro_ Caribbean Queen 👏 👏👏👏👏👏 💕💕💕💕💕💕

  2. Jacqueline Charles says:

    Well said Edson, your mom, my sister Corsel has definitely set the bar extremely high as a dedicated and innovative educator. I guess being in a household with younger siblings propelled her into teaching. She had some early practice in teaching, when her and my other sister Eugenia took time to teach me to read phonetically. I know there are numerous students whose lives have changed for the better because of her untiring effort. Corsel you are a virtuous wife, superb mom, wonderful daughter, supportive sister and outstanding educator. You have fought a good fight, you have finish the course, there is laid up for you a crown in heaven. You may not receive the accolades from humans, but God certainly take note of every good deed. Hope you enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Now you and your loving husband, Edward can enjoy retirement together. Well deserved! Love you to the max! 🌹🌹🌹🌹

  3. Cornelius Charles says:

    My Dear sister I believe you can say without any fear of contradiction, just like the Apostles Paul in 2 Tim 4:6-7: “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
    ‭‭Congratulations on your retirement. Take some time to relax, pamper yourself and draw closer to God.

  4. Stephen Samuel says:

    To my dear cousin and sister Dr Corsel Smith I am in deed proud of you.Your achievement exemplifies your character.You have shine bright as the moon in sky and the sun in the day light.May your retirement be as gracious as your illustrious career.God bless 🙏❤️

  5. To God be the glory Dr Smith for all that He has allowed you to accomplish on behalf of His children and youths of this Noble nation.
    As His words says, “the race is not for the Swift, neither is the Battle for the strong , but he that endure to the end shalt be saved”

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