TOP CLASS: Latoya Latty graduating from Shortwood Teachers' College with a Master of Arts in early-childhood education last Saturday. (PIC CREDIT: Gladstone Taylor/Photographer)
DESPITE MEASURING in at 3'7", Latoya Latty packs a powerful punch.
Last Saturday, the 35-year-old graduated with a Master of Arts in early-childhood education from the Shortwood Teachers' College in Jamaica.
She attained a GPA of 3.8 and was acknowledged as one of the top graduands.
"Don't be fooled by her height, she is an outstanding student who works very hard," Elaine Foster-Allen, principal of Shortwood Teachers' College, said.
Foster-Allen's comment followed a presentation made by Latty to Dr George Dawkins, head of research, development and project, during the graduation ceremony.
Latty told The Gleaner that her small frame was never an obstacle.
"My only challenge, I would say, is that I was unable to reach stuff, and I still wouldn't say it was really a challenge because I didn't allow that to bother me," she said.
Latty said it was hard work that allowed her to achieve the level of academic excellence she now enjoys.
"There were times I had to work during the Easter and summer holidays to complete assignments, but in the end, it was fulfilling because I had great lecturers who helped me through it," she said.
Beverly White, director of the early-childhood programme, spoke highly of the graduate saying that she was an impeccable student who allowed nothing to deter her.
"Latoya is a wonderful student. I wouldn't even bother to single her out because she is just like the other students. She works well, she is very disciplined, and takes a lot of pride in her work. Latoya is just phenomenal," she declared.
"She is also very involved. Latoya takes part in everything. She allows nothing to stop her, and I'm sending her to do the PhD," she joked.
After completing her bachelor's programme at the college, Latty was awarded most-outstanding student, graduating with upper-second class honours.
"I really have a passion for the classroom, particularly for children who are slow, and I use every opportunity to improve myself so that I can take it to the classroom because I believe that early-childhood education is very important. It is the foundation of a successful school life," Latty declared.
Born in John's Hall, Clarendon, Latty attended Hope Valley Experimental School and later Ardenne High School. She has been teaching at the Holy Childhood Preparatory and Academy for five years.