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Ianthe Pearman (1924-2018)

Veteran teacher: Ianthe Pearman

Ianthe Pearman, a teacher for nearly 50 years and an East End matriarch, has died. Ms Pearman was 94.

Former pupils included former premier Dame Jennifer Smith, who gave an address at Ms Pearman’s funeral last week, and government ministers.

Other speakers included Quinell Francis, the Mayor of St George.

G.K. Butterfield, a United States congressman for the First District of North Carolina and Ms Pearman’s cousin, said in a memorial statement that she “devoted decades of immeasurable service to Bermuda’s children”.

Ms Pearman was 17 when she went from student to teacher in 1941, at what was East End School, now East End Primary School.

She trained at Nottingham University in Britain later and completed a programme in physical education at Loughborough University.

She took further workshops and courses at Mount St Vincent University, in Canada.

Family members said Ms Pearman was “a firm believer that learning is lifelong”.

Her family added: “She often stated that an effective teacher must also be a learner.

“She was rewarded for her dedicated commitment when appointed as deputy principal and served in this role for 16 years.”

Her niece, Marva Allen, said that “Aunt Ianthe” had “a passion not just for students’ academic learning, but developing their critical thinking and decision-making skills”.

She credited her aunt for guiding her into a 38-year career in education as well as influencing her daughter, Keisha Allen-Smith, the director of staff development at the Berkeley Institute.

Kim Swan, a St George’s MP, told the House of Assembly that Ms Pearman was “a stalwart” of the Olde Towne. Jamahl Simmons of the Progressive Labour Party said Ms Pearman was “a gem who will be truly missed”.

Ms Allen added that Ms Pearman’s family extended throughout the East End.

Ms Pearman took the lead role in her family aged 32 on the death of her father and family remained her life’s focus along with education. Ms Allen wrote: “It must be noted that even at 94 years of age, Aunt Ianthe still considered St Georgians as her students.”

Ms Pearman was honoured by the Corporation of St George’s for her contribution to the community in 2014.