Tribute to Dr. Austin Josiah 


School Days are Happy, Happy Days By Dr. Lois Jeremy-Greene 

In life, we come across individuals who leave a profound  impact, shaping not only our personal  and professional lives but also our entire  communities. Today, as we gather to bid  a heartfelt farewell to my esteemed past  principal, boss, and mentor, I take this  opportunity to honor a visionary leader,  a compassionate mentor, and a  cherished friend.

This tribute serves as a  reflection of the indelible mark that Dr.  Austin Josiah has left behind and a  celebration of his legacy as my mentor  and friend.

I first met Dr. Austin Josiah, the principal of Bethesda School when I  began my teaching career as a math  and science teacher.

Within the first  year, I was in awe of his leadership, and  I knew that he would have an empowering impact on my professional journey as a teacher.  

This tribute is an opportunity for  me to acknowledge his exemplary  leadership and unwavering vision.

Dr.  Josiah was committed to the school  community. He possessed a unique  ability to inspire and motivate everyone  he worked with toward achieving excellence.

Through his visionary  guidance, he instilled a sense of  purpose in every student and staff,  reminding us to always aim high,  embrace challenges, and work  collectively towards a common goal.

He  was passionate about educating every  student, ensuring that educating the  whole child extended beyond the  textbooks. In addition to doing well in  every subject, it was essential that every  student know and understand local,  regional, and international events.

I  remember that during the Gulf War  (1990-1991) when the USA and 38  other countries waged a military  coalition against the Iraqi invasion of  Kuwait, Dr. Josiah was relentless in his  efforts to ensure that every student took  time to know and understand what,  where, and why of this historical event.

His drive for constant improvement  ignited a transformative journey in the  school community and impacted  countless lives, including students,  teachers, and parents.

Dr. Josiah not only prioritized academic excellence but also devoted  his entire life to empowering and  celebrating students.

He recognized the  importance of education in shaping  future generations and worked tirelessly  to provide a nurturing and inclusive  environment.

Through different  innovative programs and initiatives, he sought to cultivate the potential of every  student, encouraging them to explore  their passions and talents.

In 1990,  when I wanted the school to participate  in the Mr. And Miss Teenage Pageant,  he did not hesitate to support my  ambitions.

Although he was not a  carnival enthusiast, he ensured that I  had access to the students for practice and preparation. Kevin Potter and  Sharon Grigg were the first two students  from Bethesda School to participate in  the Mr. And Miss Teenage pageant.  Both students represented the school at  its highest level.

Kevin’s talent was a dramatic portrayal of Mr. Josiah as a  school leader, entitled, “School Days are  Happy, Happy Days”. By the end of the  show, Kevin was crowned Mr. Teenage  1990 with the best personality and  aspirations and best-performing talent.  Bethesda school had become the first  primary/junior secondary school to win  the Mr. Teenage title.

Dr. Josiah’s dedication to the holistic development of  everyone served as a constant reminder  of the impact that education can have  on celebrating and empowering our  students’ abilities, talents, and skills.  Dr. Josiah was a disciplinarian who believed in the words of Proverbs 22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the  heart of a child, the rod of correction will  drive it far from him.” Although he was  never afraid to use the rod, he understood the difference between  formal and informal discipline and when  to use each.

He understood the role of  values, rules, and consequences in a  school system and how to address the  underlying causes of discipline problems  that occur both in and out of school.

He  knew how to balance discipline and  care, communicating expectations and  interacting with students and parents.  His disciplinary acts were always with  unwavering compassion, support, and  love.

He believed in the power of  empathy and took time to understand  the struggles and concerns of both  students and staff.

He fostered a culture  of openness, ensuring that everyone felt  heard, valued, and supported. His  innate ability to uplift spirits and offer  guidance during difficult times provided  comfort and reassurance to all,  especially students.

His legacy as a  compassionate and caring leader will  continue to inspire me to extend a  helping hand to others. 

As I use this tribute to say goodbye to Dr. Austin Josiah, I embrace  the profound impact that he had on my  life, influencing my desire to learn to the highest level. When the achievement of  my doctorate degree was announced,  he was filled with great joy.

Within the  last week of his life, he took time to  speak with me, sharing his excitement  and advising me on the next steps of my  professional career. His leadership,  vision, and dedication to education will  forever be etched in my heart.

I will  continue to carry forward the values and  ideals he instilled in me, striving to make  a positive difference in my life and the  lives of those around me. Though I  mourn his loss today, his memory will  forever serve as a guiding light, uplifting  and inspiring me as I continue his  meaningful work as an educator and an advocate for students and teachers.

Today, I celebrate a remarkable life – a  life that touched hearts, influenced  minds, and left an undeniable legacy  behind.

I am thankful for his life and all  his words of wisdom and inspiration that  he shared with me through the years.  

May his soul rest in eternal peace, and  may his spirit continue to inspire us as  we navigate the path ahead with  reverence, gratitude, and a deep sense  of commitment to his vision as a  teacher, principal, educator, and mentor.  

Forever in my heart.  

Dr. Lois Jeremy-Greene







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