AS A young Bahamian educator, Shonelle Mcphee has vowed that she will tread a path of excellence imparting wisdom, providing direction and shaping the dreams of her students.
Since fulfilling the dream of opening her own school, New Horizon Pre-school, Mrs McPhee has been adamant about setting a good foundation early on and impacting the young lives she comes into contact with everyday.
The inspiration to open New Horizon, which she hopes to expand to a primary school in the near future, came after working at other several other schools. The way in which those schools operated left her “very discouraged.”
“I wanted to make a difference in early childhood education as well. For some people who have started schools, their intent is to make money and get the glamour from that. But what makes me happy is when a child can walk away from the school and say “this is what I have learnt” and when parents come back to me and tell me how their children are doing well.
“I had a parent come and tell me that their children sat exams for various private schools and they passed those exams and are maintaining 3.0 grade point averages. This is what I wanted to see. I wanted to make a difference in early childhood learning,” she said.
Mrs McPhee has always loved children and was passionate about teaching. As a young girl she babysat family members and neighbourhood children free of charge.
This passion became a professional pursuit and she acquired the necessary skills needed to do the job effectively by taking courses at local colleges and through hands on experience working at preschools throughout New Providence. She also participated in workshops, seminars, and training sessions to enhance her abilities whenever the opportunity arose.
“I love working with others and assisting them to grow and develop into the person they choose to be in their lives. I believe people have the innate ability to succeed if they are able to remove obstacles and keep focus. I see myself more as a mentor to the young. I love to obtain the energy of those around me and channel it to the next level,” she said.
As she continues to touch the lives of young children, teenage girls and adults she wants to open a second location which will include a primary school and community dance workshops and sessions.
As a teenager she enjoyed liturgical dancing as she was trained at Revere Dance Academy. She began to dance at church services and her passion grew as she taught dance to churches who desired dance in their services. She rendered this service free as she wanted to mentor young ladies and encourage them to believe in themselves.
Mrs McPhee said she is focused on developing a healthy family life with her husband and kids.
“My life has been good and filled with many happenings such as a God sent husband, wonderful children, and a striving business with a wonderful staff. Thinking about what I wanted to accomplish -my business, having a wonderful family helps make up my core attitude and beliefs of what motivates me every day. It gives me satisfaction at the end of each day.
“Another important segment of my philosophy is focusing on the importance of family. I believe it is my duty to raise healthy happy children in an environment of a healthy marriage. Freud said ‘the tasks of the individual are to resolve the questions in two areas: love and work’. I strongly agree that spiritual fulfillment comes from being happy in both domains,” she said.