Introducing: The School Administration
Emmanuel Junior Almaïs
Almaïs has been a part of Lemuel since 1998. Back then, he participated in Lemuel as one of the kids/youth. However since 2007, he has filled various positions on Lemuel’s staff, including bookkeeper, director of kid’s club, and school director. A fun trivia fact: although Almaïs stepped into his current position as school director last year, this will actually be his THIRD year directing the school. Way back in 2007, he served as the director for a year. The school has grown and developed quite a bit since then!
Almaïs himself will say that Lemuel’s investment in him over the years has had a huge impact on his ability to lead today. Last year, he assumed the role of school director when the school was suffering from poor leadership and a resulting host of internal problems. Almaïs immediately turned all his energies to building unity and rapport among the staff and to emphasizing quality, well-rounded education for the kids. The change in the school was like the difference between night and day. He also runs Kid’s Club on the Plateau as a personal ministry, and does an excellent job. We are proud of him and encouraged to see all that God has done in his life.
In July 2015, Almaïs married Kattia Amazan, and in November they are expecting their first child.
Q: What do you like most about your job? Almaïs: I like it best when there is a spirit of teamwork and harmony among the staff. That gives me energy and encourages me. Division among staff members handicaps the work. Q: What is the biggest difficulty you face? Almaïs: Human relations. Each person has their own personality and perspective. You have to know how to approach and work with each person and how to keep them unified in one objective.
Director of Pedagogy
Osselet is from nearby Anse-Rouge and has been with Lemuel’s school in various roles since 2011. He studied education in university, and currently serves as the Director of Pedagogy. Whatever role Osselet occupies, he is always a great collaborator, willing to jump into the thick of things and help get the job done!
Osselet is married with one son, who just recently turned 1 year old.
Q: What is pedagogy? Osselet: Pedagogy is the study of the methods and strategies that can be employed to help children learn best. Q: As Director of Pedagogy, what do you do? Osselet: I help the teachers to find the best teaching methods for their classrooms. I also look over their lesson plans each week to make sure they are covering all of the information mandated by the State for the month. The State gives a standardized program of what each child in each grade needs to know by the end of a given month. There are 3 State exams per year, and the kids have to be ready for them. Q: What is the biggest obstacle to their education that the kids on the Plateau are facing? Osselet: One of them is the context in which they live. Most of their parents did not have the chance for an education, so there is a huge contrast between what the kids are learning at school and what they are able to receive or apply at home. For example, at school, they need to be functional in French, but their parents only speak Creole at home, so they aren’t able to practice and develop their French apart from when they are in class. They also live in an area where life is very difficult. Their daily realities do not foster intellectual development. Q: Which subject do the students struggle with the most? Osselet: French! That is why this year we have hired a teacher who specifically focuses on teaching French to grades 3-6.
Josiane is a native to the Plateau, and has been part of Lemuel program since it began working in the area. She began working for the school last year as an office assistant. When Patricia–who was then serving as the School Secretary–had to return to Port-au-Prince for an unanticipated maternity leave, Josiane stepped up to temporarily cover some of Patricia’s responsibilities. Although originally it was a trial period, she did so well and demonstrated such a teachable spirit and capacity to learn that the school brought her back in the same role this year. She continues to learn the ropes, developing skills that are not only necessary to her job, but also very useful for her own personal development. She always has a genuine, welcoming smile and is eager to serve whoever steps into the school office, be it parent, teacher, child, or visitor. In addition, she is responsible for first aid in the school.
Q: What is the biggest thing you have learned in your new job? Josiane: I have learned so much! The biggest things have been how to work on a computer, as well as how to receive people. Manis and Judy have given me a lot of training on how to receive people in the office. Q: What do you like the most about your job? Josiane: I like all of my tasks; but, I really like to sit at my desk and type and prepare documents on the computer. I also love to help the kids whenever they come to the office with a problem–for example, when they are hungry or when they hurt themselves. I do also enjoy doing the finances, but at the same time, it probably the most frustrating part!