- Faith & Family
Congratulations to Dr. Enid C. Pinkney for having the Johnson-Ward Auditorium at South Miami Middle School named in her honor. The name Pinkney replaced Johnson. Dr. Pinkney rose and and took to the mike: “Thank you for inviting me to the re-dedication of the Pinkney-Ward Auditorium where I spent 20 years as assistant principal from 1971-1991. Some of my meaningful experiences included having several signs on my wall in my office to help students predict which one I would use according to the reason they were sent to the office. One that I used often was a sign with a fly above the open mouth of a fish. The fish mouth was open in a position as to swallow the fly. The motto beneath the picture said “open mouth catch fly.” It was a Bahamian expression. Students that were sent to the office for excessive talking were asked to interpret the picture and the words.
Another sign on the wall was “Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude.” This sign had a picture of a thermometer. Students who were sent to the office for underachieving were asked to interpret that sign. Some students said that they would rather be sent to Mr. Ward and get the whacks than go through all of that discussion with me and still get whacked. Others would predict what they thought I was going to say and said it before I got around to saying it. They had committed them to memory. One of the outstanding families in South Miami is the Scrivens family. When Mrs. Majory Scrivens died, the post office was named in her honor. During her wake, many of the adults were present and quoted the signs from memory. Mrs. Scrivens’ daughter had repeated the mottoes to her son and he had memorized them to live by their meaning.
Another meaningful experience I had at South Miami Middle School was my relationship with the faculty and staff, especially Mr. Ward, my co-worker and the other assistant principal. When I came to South Miami Junior High integration had been mandated by the county. I became known as a Black militant which was not hard for me to do but I refrained from what was expected and kept my cool. I really enjoyed the 20 years I spent at the school and my militancy moved into another level, when I invited my white friends, such as Ward, Margaret and son, Steve, to spend some time at my resort on Exuma, Bahamas several times with my husband and cousins. Everyone enjoyed it immensely.’’
It was commencement time for the 8th graders and graduating 12th graders at RJW The Academy of Arts and Science located at Church of the Open Door, last Thursday, before a filled center of anxious parents cheering on their sons and daughter, specifically, the Baker family founders of the private school: Louise E. and Mr. Baker; executive manager, Shemica Neely; principal, Walter Dennis; Teacher of the Year, Jean Tienne. Other members of the family included Chasity Baker, Khrystyan Baker and Wilnard Baker, a student at Miami-Dade. Put them all together and you have a musical family that sings and plays instruments.
Among them is Walter Dennis, a seasoned teacher with 30 years in Miami-Dade schools. His skills are commemorative to raising the educational standards of the students and prompting them for the commencement exercises. With the playing of Pomp and Circumstance, the graduating 8th graders moved with confidence, followed by the graduates completing 12 years of schooling.
The highlight was the monetary scholarships awarded to Khrystyan, Chasity and Wilnard Baker and the youngest elementary student.