Beyond Beauty: Dr Barbara Buckley-Jones, Educator par excellence


PUBLISHED IN THE JAMAICAN GLEANER

SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

"I was born where jerk pork originated - eight-penny jerk and hard-dough bread, to be specific," chuckles Dr Barbara Buckley-Jones. Born in the beautiful north east coastal parish of Portland, Dr Buckley-Jones is the last of 11 children born to Agatha and Jeremiah Buckley. Dr Buckley-Jones began her studies at Boston Primary School and later advanced to Titchfield High School where she thrived in netball as her five-feet-11-inches frame gave her a competitive advantage. After completing high school, she pursued her undergrad degree in the arts at the University of the West Indies.

Her teaching career led her to Knox College in Clarendon, where she would eventually retire after serving for 35 years, 15 of which were as the school's principal. While teaching at Knox, Dr Buckley-Jones was a key member of Jamaica's netball team to the West Indies. She served as captain to the Jamaican team when they played in other Caribbean islands such as Barbados, St Vincent, St Lucia, Trinidad, and Montserrat. She tells Outlook, "Though my teammates and I were isolated from our brothers and sisters, travelling overseas made us realise that we were more similar than different. Being captain, I learnt to deal with many different personalities and, during our travels, we formed a lifelong bond. Even now, so many years later, we meet to reminisce about fellowship and past games." She led the team to the World Tournament in Eastbourne, South Wimbledon, England, and in 1960, she was named Sportswoman of the Year.

In 1962, Dr Buckley-Jones married Leo Jones (now deceased) and together they were blessed with five children. Being a mother was a natural progression from being a teacher and captain.

She tells Outlook, "When I got married and had my own children, it was easy for me, because I treat my students like my own." She says that her profession as teacher at the college was joyful as she had ample care from all the nannies and other teachers who would look out for her children. She says unequivocally that, because her children were raised in an academic environment, it helped to