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9392: A Haitian educator is gone (fwd)

From: E Vedrine <evedrine@hotmail.com>

                   A HAIITAN EDUCATOR IS GONE
                  Tony JEAN-JACQUES (1960-2001)

[As a child, Mr. Jean-Jacques attended Juvenat College of the Sacred Heart, 
a Catholic school for boy. He was fortunate to have a father who held a high 
position in society. Always a good student, Jean-Jacques attended a 
pretigious boarding school, where he lived with brothers of the Sacred 
Heart. In that school, he lived a highly structured and followed a strict 

The boarding school lifestyle forced him to mature. After that it was off to 
Notre Dame College Preparatory School. There he learned values ideas of 
respect that directed his life. “Good education is the key of life”, says 
Mr. Jean-Jacques.

Around 1980, Jean-Jacques arrived in the United States. After abandoning 
thoughts of becoming a physician. There he carried three majors: philosophy, 
French, and Spanish. While there, he was also taught to approach education 
with Philosophy, that is, to positively reinforce teaching with mutual 
respect and promotion of self-discipline. He chose to go to the University 
of Massachusetts because he did not know other schools in the United States, 
so he decided to try out. ‘Everyone can be educated, no matter what level 
they are on’, he says. ‘A good educator really has to create dialogue… 
respect to make the whole process enjoyable’. He believes in reinforcing, 
teaching, and conveying discipline, and engagement.

Having received a Masters degree in Education, Jean-Jacuqes knows five 
languages: Spanish, English, French, Haitian Creole and German. In Haiti, he 
taught for two years and he also taught at a variety of places in the United 
states including the Boston Public Schools and a center for Haitians, “The 
Haitian Multi-service Center”, in Dorchester. There he bridged the gap in 
culture and education for Haitians new to this country. Believing in the 
benefit of extra-curricular activities, he wants to ‘implement a curriculum 
where all schools, private and public, have the same curriculum.’. 
Jean-Jacques says that experience at this school has been challenging and 
enjoyable so far. “I came to this school because I was raised in a Catholic 
environment’, he said. He likes the discipline and respect displayed here, 
as well as students’ willingness to learn.

Sophmore Chris Carnes commented about Mr. Jean-Jacques: ‘Even though I don’t 
have him in classs, I go to his study hall because he is an extremely 
interesting guy.’ Aside from education, Jean-Jacques has some interesting 
hobbies, including judo. Jean-jacques said that it helps with 
self-discipline, self-esteem, and self-knowledge. Also, he enjoys to travel 
and has been to Portugal, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Germany, Spain, France, 
and Canada. He has observed the learning environments and levels in each 
country…Through his travels he experienced all kinds of culture. Also, his 
interests include basketball and watching football. Skilled at using 
Macintosh computers, he is involved in developing books for bilingual 
students in public schools.

Jean-Jacques also writes poetry. He feels poetry is expression of 
everything: yourself, emotions, life, existence. ‘Your own existence is poem 
by itself’, he said. He has writen Haitian fairy tales as well… His 
influence include Maya Angelou whose poetry he describes as ‘touching, 
revealing’. Lamartine was a French classic poet who influenced him, and the 
Haitian writers influenced Jean-Jacques were Ethzer Vilaire and Oswald 
Durant. ‘the use of everyday language is a beautiful poem’, he explained. 
According to Jean-Jacques, getting the message across is the most important 
part of poetry. He likes to be open, clear, and simple. One of his book, 
*Moi, le juif errant* (Me, the wandering Jew), is a testimony of culture. 
This book is about who he is. It is stated that even Socrates said it is 
good to know oneself - it makes you ready to teach others… Being the only 
black teacher in the school does not bother Jean-Jacques. He explained, 
‘It’s challenging to be unique in any place’. He said it does not bother him 
to be unique…’ (The Crystal 99, Wed., Dec. 15, 1993 - Malden Catholic High 
School newspaper).]

[Tony JEAN-JACQUES. Est né en 1960 à P-au-P, Haïti. A fait ses études 
primaires et sécondaires chez les frères du Juvenat, Collège du Sacré-Cœur, 
Carrefour, Haïti. Detenteur d’un baccalauréat en philosophie, en français et 
espagnol à l’Université de Massachusetts-Boston (U.S.A) en 1990. A fait 
aussi des études universitaires de langues vivantes (français et espagnol) à 
l’Université Laval (Québec) et au «Collgio De España» (Salamanca, Espagne). 
Detenteur d’une maîtrise en Éducation à l’Université de Massachusetts à 
Boston (1992), Jean-Jacques a voyagé à travers l’Europe et l’Amérique où il 
a fait de lourdes experiences qui se trouvent dans son langage. Auteur de 
Pour mieux t’aimeur: Pou m ka pi renmen ou (poèmes en français et haïtien, 
1992), Moi le juif errant (poèmes et essais, 1993). Éducateur, essayiste, 
judoka et poète, il a publié de nombreux articles dans la revue PRISMA de 
l’Université de Massachusetts à Boston.]

Courtesy of “E. W. Vedrine Creole Project Archives"

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