March 26, 2017
Delano Folkes is a man endowed with an inherent passion and zeal for helping the most vulnerable in our society, our children.
This he has done by his continued dedication as a primary school teacher for well over a decade with most of that time being spent at the St Ann’s Bay Primary School in St Ann.
Mr Folkes’ other passion is for music and he imparts his knowledge in that arena by tutoring students, who are excelling in that art form.
Like any other Jamaican, Mr Folkes had his share of challenges in his life, but he has embodied resilience, strength and courage as his visual impairment of being blind in the right eye has not impacted on him excelling to greatness.
“It is really a blessing to know that my life is able to help others and bless others… In teaching, there is not much financial gain, but to see your students excelling it gives you that drive to go on,” Mr Folkes said in an interview with The Times.
Delano Folkes was born and raised in Snow Hill, St. Ann. He has credited his family, good friends and the solid foundation of trusting God from a tender age for who has become today.
Mr Folkes’ family has impacted heavily on his life. He speaks highly of his grandmother, the late Iris Plunkett, who helped him to believe in himself and to trust God. He also credits his mother, Sandra Plunkett-Gentles and his aunts, Donna Wilson and Lorna Williams, who were instrumental in bringing out the best in him. He salutes his grandfather, Harold Plunkett, otherwise called “Baboo” who has been an amazing father figure.
“It wasn’t easy, but my family ensured that we weren’t in need of anything. They worked hard,” Mr Folkes pointed out.
Over the years, others who have been an inspiration to him include principals Trevor Cole of St Ann’s Bay Primary School and Salomon Smith of Brown’s Town Primary School, along with Marvin Tyndall.
Mr Folkes attended the Pimento Walk Basic School and later the Ocho Rios Primary School.
However, at the age of nine, he had an accident with his right eye that caused him to be absent from school for a year. He explained that he was playing with children and a stone caught him in the eye.
While admitting that it was hard going back to school, Mr Folkes gives credit to his past teacher for being that light of hope and motivation for him.
“It was hard going back to school. Basically for grades four and five, I was behind, but after going to grade six, a teacher, Miss Harris, she really had a great impact on me and really motivated me… I actually entered the Spelling Bee and came third in the class that year. That was a great improvement, because I was actually at the bottom of the class,” Mr Folkes pointed out.
So great was the impact of that teacher, that he eventually developed a passion for teaching. His other passion for music also began to blossom from a young age.
Despite his early challenge, Mr Folkes passed his Common Entrance Examination and was awarded a place at York Castle High School. There, he continued his academic excellence.
He also did well in athletics during his primary and high school years and has attained numerous medals in track and field.
EMABARKING ON HIS PASSION
Mr Folkes’ passion towards becoming a teacher became a reality when he graduated from The Moneague College with a diploma in primary education in 2003. He has also supplemented his diploma with a first class honours degree in Primary Education from the International University of the Caribbean (IUC).
He started his journey of imparting knowledge at Moneague Primary and Junior High, where he served as teacher and music director.
Mr Folkes has continued to live his dream of teaching and has continued to embark on his passion for music at the St. Ann’s Bay Primary School headed by principal, Trevor Cole.
Mr Folkes is not just a grade five class teacher at the school as he has embarked on a quest of “uplifting the school and bringing out the best in the teachers and students.”
His responsibilities at the school include: grade coordinator (grade five afternoon shift), safety and security co-chairperson, musician, choir director, sports leader (Betton House), music club coordinator, equipment manager, school photographer and breakfast programme coordinator. In addition, he serves on several committees.
LIFE AWAY FROM THE CLASSROOM
Mr Folkes is happily married to Myrna for over twelve years and their love has produced twins, Shanelle and Janelle. He said that he has thanked “God for my family and work very hard to ensure that they are comfortable and happy.”
He also enjoys playing the keyboard, football and tennis.
Mr Folkes said that he is not only busy on the education field but also busy doing the Lord’s work and inspiring the youths in his community.
He attends the Snow Hill Baptist Church where he serves as deacon, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher, Youth Fellowship president, Vacation Bible School coordinator, keyboardist, Youth Choir director and coaches the church’s football team.
Mr Folkes has also taken on the task providing private tutoring in music to students over the years. He has yielded several success stories from this venture including Zavier Cheverria, who received a national music award for his CXC performance.
He posited that music plays a vital role in helping individuals to be focused and disciplined, while helping to build one’s self-esteem, especially when having to play music for large audiences.
Mr Folkes said that he is guided by the philosophy, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
He has his eyes set on pursuing other educational endeavours, including a masters degree, a doctorate degree and also one day becoming a music professor.
Mr Folkes believes strongly in “setting goals and working hard to achieve them.”
He recently made one of his major goals a reality when he acquired his own home in the Hills of Boscobel, St. Mary.
To persons who facing challenges, Mr Folkes is encouraging them to remain positive.
“Never give up and always be determined to achieve. Try to stay around persons who are positive and those who bring out the best in you,” he advised.
He believes that with God, hard work and determination, success is always guaranteed.
Original Article Found Here