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Patricia Eves-McKenzie – Catalyst for Change

Patricia Eves-McKenzie – Catalyst for Change


“Man Plans, and God Laughs.” Despite our most careful planning and desires, life is unpredictable. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Unexpected disappointing or exhilarating changes can upend our best-laid plans in life. Many of us are good at enjoyable professions which we never foresaw. A prime example of this reality is the life of a retired educator, Mrs Patricia Eves-McKenzie.

Mrs Patricia Eves-McKenzie at 20 years old

Patricia Eves-McKenzie

Mrs Eves- McKenzie was always ambitious and hardworking. Fueled by advice from her maternal grandmother, her consistent life desire is experiencing triumphant successes. Success and reaching her fullest potential kept Eves-McKenzie’s focus. However, she had no idea that one day, she would become a stalwart educator.

Growing up, she fixated on becoming an air hostess. While waiting for her final exam results in grade 11, she had a career discussion with her Principal. Her Principal, based on observations, thought she would become an excellent teacher:

Mrs Patricia Eves-McKenzie shares advice received from her high school Principal, Mrs Inez Carnegie

Love for Teaching

During a teaching practicum, Patricia fell in love with teaching. The willingness of the students to learn, combined with her eagerness to educate others was bliss. This experience developed and nurtured her passion for teaching children. The same love would have caused her to impact countless amounts of lives.

In 1967 Patricia graduated from Shortwood Teachers’ College after completing three years. Later that year, she began her career as a grade 6 teacher at the Mona Preparatory School in Kingston. She had a delightful experience there, but she left after a year to fulfil her desire to work in the public sector.

She met Reverend Dr Richmond Nelson, former Principal of the Oberlin High School in July of that same year. He sent her to with a message to Mr Donald Collins, then Principal of Tarrant High. “Tell him Reverend Nelson sent you”. That simple message, along with her qualifications secured her a job at Tarrant where she taught English, Spanish and Mathematics. Before the age of 30, Mrs Eves-McKenzie was a senior teacher at the institution. When she completed her bachelor’s degree, an offer from English Department materialized.

While delighted at the offer, Mrs Eves-McKenzie declined due to an invitation to apply for the Vice-Principal vacancy at a newly formed school. Following nine years of service at Tarrant High, she became the 1st Vice-Principal at Edith Dalton Secondary High. After a seven years tenure in 1984, she took a 10-year hiatus from teaching for other pursuits.

Her Natural Truth

Her love for teaching never wavered during the time she was away from the classroom. She continued to provide support for children in different subject areas. Today, she beams with pride of her esteemed career in education; however, she acknowledges that things could have easily turned out differently.

In her mind, she had no desire to return the classroom. Be that as it may, the Principal’s role at a private high school became a reality. She intended to decline the offer, but that never happened after strong encouragement by Albert Karram, a leader in her church, who convinced her to accept the position. After an emotional discussion, she eventually returned to the field in January 1994 as principal of Dunrobin High School.


While completing her three years term as principal, she pursued a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. In February 1998, a mere two months after leaving Dunrobin, Mrs Eves-McKenzie commenced lecturing at UTECH. She taught subjects about Counselling Psychology and continued as a part-time lecturer until October 2001. She also joined the University’s Counselling Centre staff as a counsellor.

UTECH and Retirement


Being a counsellor at the UTECH “was the perfect opportunity to serve where people needed help most.” As a senior counsellor at UTECH, Mrs Eves-McKenzie provided leadership and strategic development. This enabled the counselling team and staff to offer quality service to all categories of staff and students. Below, Mrs Eves-McKenzie describes some of her duties:

There is no doubt that the now-retired Mrs Eves-McKenzie has made a lasting impact in the education sector. After two years of retirement in 2016, she was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for her services. The energetic and vivacious retired educator described retirement as a beautiful phase in her life. She uses the time to deposit in and enrich the lives of others through life-lessons.  She also embraces keynote speaking moments as they allow her to pass on the legacy of her generation. Mrs Eves-McKenzie hopes that they will be able to use the knowledge she imparts to better and more skillfully navigate the growing challenges they face.

Catalyst for Change

Mrs Eves-McKenzie’s students consider her a catalyst for positive change. She lives her life intentionally and purposefully to be an example for those who take the time to learn. She never fails to share encouragement, warnings or possibilities to enlighten and encourage others to make full use of their time and calling. Mrs Eves-McKenzie has always gone the extra mile. It’s no surprise that her most memorable moment as an educator was watching how students’ lives transformed. Below, she shares an example:

Mrs. Patricia Eves-McKenzie

Her love for learning and success is admirable. She uses every experience and encounter as a tool to motivate her. Every experience is an occasion for reflection and learning. In like manner, successes and failures are opportunities to learn, develop and improve. Listen to the audio below to hear lessons Mrs Eves-McKenzie learnt along the way:

There is a famous quote by Edith Piaf which reads “when you’ve reached the top, send the elevator back down for the others”. Patricia encourages us to live by this philosophy. “Whatever you learn, pass it on to others so their lives can be better”. The nuggets of wisdom that I received throughout our ‘reasoning’ are priceless. Mrs Eves-McKenzie reminds us that it is never too late to achieve goals:


Tiffany Janice McLeggon Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. It is important that we let our lives be a positive example to the people we encounter. Everything that I am and everything that I do should reflect the glory of God.


  1. Fabulous article. We need more educators like her in our public school system, who are committed to helping students go up the elevator, Counselling psychologists are also very much needed in our schools.

  2. An inspiring and motivational article. She is truly a lady who is willing and ready to help up the other individual. Her presence made the world a better place for those with who she interacted!

    1. A woman of influence , a woman of purpose , a wise woman , a humble woman a beloved woman- you impacted my life in many ways especially with the ease in which you embraced challenges. A solid woman of God. One to be emulated.

  3. Thanks for doing this timely feature on Mrs Patricia Eves-McKenzie, outstanding educator, life-transforming counselling psychologist and exemplary Mentor. What a legacy! Thanks for capturing the essence of her contributions over the years. She has consistently inspired much hope in the young and not so young alike, in educational institutions and corporate Jamaica too, as she unselfishly does life, investing in others and creating opportunities for so many along her journey. Throughout the decades she has purposefully lived her best life with great humility and effectively modeled the way for us to follow. Well Done!

  4. Mrs Patricia Eves McKenzie I have talked with you prayed and cried with you.I thank God countless times for giving me you the person who give me air of encouragement when i am drowing with the pressures of life. Thank you for being my friend the one who did not leave , but instead constantly remind me that you are there growing with me instead of away from me. Thank you Thank you for being you – beautiful, strong, funny, smart and inspiring. May God continue to bless you as continue to inspire lives.

  5. Ms. Eaves as we fondly called have touched my life both as my English teacher and as the ISCF mentor. She shed light on my destress of having to attend Tarrant Junior Secondary later Tarrant Secondary now Tarrant High School. She always encouraged us as students to strive for more. Yet higher so now I too have moved from being an Educator to having my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. Big up Mrs. Eaves-McKenzie

  6. I am also also a Product of Ms. Eves and Tarrant High School, and I am very happy to have this opportunity to say thank you Ms. Eves, for being so amazing! You are absolutely priceless! May God always bless you. 🙏🏼❤️

  7. A few persons have touched my life. During a particular season, I was led to Pat Eves- McKenzie and she was a blessing. I thank God for her life, testimony, wit, frankness and transparency. A great honour for her to be featured. May God continue to bless your life and family.

  8. Congrats to Mrs Pat Eves McKenzie on this excellent article. I have admired and respected Pat over the years. Pat’s purpose driven life has been guided by God and many lives have been transformed. Her skills of drama and her rich humor are also valuable tools for teaching, counseling. Big up Pat. Leith

  9. Well deserved recognition Mrs McKenzie, you have been a source of blessing and inspiration for all who have had the privilege of you sharing in our lives. Continue to be faithful and many more will rise up and call you blessed!!

  10. It is such a blessing to have met Auntie Pat. A woman who knows God and makes Him know without forcing Him on you. Mrs. McKenzie is one of the few gems in our education system and the church. She loves young people and her ‘youthfulness’ draws us together.

    She may have retired but she is still playing a relevant and effective role in inspiring others and making them know that they can…

    May God continue to bless and prosper her as she continues to make her impact in changing and shaping lives.

  11. Patricia Eaves She’s simply the best remember her as my home room Teacher at Tarrant ilalways love you

  12. I remember Ms Eves has a kind , loving , joyful teacher . Loves playing Netball with us at Tarrant . Shine on Ms Eves

  13. I admired Pat from afar for many years, but met and interacted with her at UTECH. I have constantly admired her honesty of self and purpose; she was down-to-earth, practical, a woman of great faith, an inspiration to many. Patricia, your compassion, wisdom and humour live on. Walk Good my sister.

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