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Photo: Edy Gomez, keynote speaker giving charge.

It was William Arthur who said,

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”

On October 28, 2010, the faculty, staff and students of
Greater New York Academy hosted the first annual
Pastor Appreciation Day for the pastors of the
Greater New York Conference who have consistently supported the Academy.

The program began after the pastors in attendance were seated in their places of honor in the
newly refurbished chapel. A lively and inspiring song service was led by the chaplain Pastor
Damali Boston, Ms. Sandra Ball, and Mrs. Claudia Valcin, after which Student Association
Pastor Fred Edouard offered the opening prayer.

Principal Lillian Mitchell welcomed the pastors, teachers and students, and shared with them the
joy that she and the Academy family experienced because the dream of hosting such an event
had become a reality.

The keynote speaker was Edy Gomez, who is the pastor of the freshman class. He reminded the
audience that a pastor’s work is more than a job, it is a calling. One to which the pastors have
committed themselves despite comparably low wages, great demand on their time, and scant
regard or appreciation from many parishioners. Edy encouraged the pastors to continue working
for the Lord, and urged his teachers and peers to continue to support their pastors. At the end of
his eloquent delivery, the pastors paid the highest tribute by giving him a standing ovation. Edy’s
father was among the pastors who were honored.


Vice Principal Loris LaBorde delivered an inspiring sermonette in which he appealed to the
pastors and teachers to work together in ministry because the work of education and redemption are one. He underscored this appeal by ending with the rallying cry, “All for one, and one for all!”




Students and teachers of the Academy recognized the pastors through tributes, music, poetry,
and special presentations. Tributes to the pastors were given by Roseanne Thornhill, senior class president, Mr. Walix Vacin, teacher of French and Spanish, Mrs. Deborah Nicoleau, teacher of History, and Ebony Marks, vice president of the freshman class. The tributes were interspersed with poetry and musical selections by Justin Dempsy, the Delta Mu Chorale, Edison Alvarez, Danielle Samuel, Danielle Cornwall, Stephen Alexander, Shatika Lee and Donna-Lee Streete.

Each pastor was presented with a gift bag as a token of the love and appreciation of the Academy family for their constant support and dedication, not only to Greater New York Academy, but to the youth in their congregations.

After the ceremony in the chapel, the pastors were escorted to the neighboring Community Service building where a sumptuous gourmet meal had been prepared for them by the faculty and staff of Greater New York Academy.



Photo: Pastors present for GNY Academy Pastor's Appreciation Day.
In attendance were pastors Allan Hay, Anders Peralta, Andy Lagradelle, Angel Rodriquez, Anthony Romeo, Reginald Barthelmy, Daniel Zabaleta, Donnieval Walker, Easton Marks, G. Earl Knight, Gregory Carrol, Horace Russell, Jean Charles, John Piroski, Jose Cortez, Jose Cruz, Jose Dominguez, Lincoln Smith, Lloyd Scharffenberg, Orette Michell, Pedro Gomez, Rohann Wellington, and Shane Vidal.

The faculty and staff regarded it as a delight to prepare the meal and host the pastors on this very special occasion. We look forward to the continued fostering of relationship between academy and pastors as we work together for the social, academic, and most importantly the spiritual success of the students as we prepare them for the kingdom of heaven.

To see a complete pictoral gallery click here.

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By Sydonne Walker, Teacher Greater New York Academy