The Spirit of Clovelly Park: Learning and Teaching at Kingston College

Book Cover


1960s & '70s,1980s & '90s

FrancesMarie Coke

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The Spirit of Clovelly Park deeply examines the heart and mind of a young Jamaican woman who struggles through her initial reluctance and makes her way into a world of boisterous teenage boys in Jamaica. It charts her journey with her boys from reluctance to mastery of both learning and teaching.



Short Summary

It is 1970 in Kingston, Jamaica. Anxiety and panic overcome me as I wait for my interview with the principal of a high school for boys and reflect on my own misdeeds in school, my desperation for a job, and my reluctance to be a teacher. The principal and the interview defy my expectations.

After ten years I become battle weary, threatened by the prospect of becoming a half-hearted teacher or ineffectual guidance counsellor I conclude it is time to move on. The students need and deserve more. I summon the courage to go, reflecting on the uniqueness of my time at the school.


Kingston, Jamaica

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Philosophical Questions,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Frances Phillips Frances Coke

Age: 22-33

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Complex,Patriotic,Empathetic,Confident,Outspoken,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Funny,Visionary,Educated,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Insecure,Honorable

Additional Character Details

Name: Douglas Forrest

Age: 50-60

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Aspiring,Modest,Charming,Complex,Confident,Patriotic,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Selfless,Faithful,Gracious,Heroic,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Mr. Johnson

Age: 40-50

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Patriotic,Decisive,Empathetic,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Mrs. Riley

Age: 40-50

Gender: Female

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Outspoken,Faithful,Educated,Leader

Development Pitch

.Weaving in vignettes from her own schooling and upbringing, Frances-Marie Coke skillfully pinpoints the interplay between the school experiences of her boys and the contradictions in their society during a period of turbulence and transformation in Jamaica. This memoir will raise eyebrows while eliciting frowns, chuckles and warm reflections about school life. It will raise questions about education, adolescent boys, career choices and teacher preparation. It illustrates the outcomes that can be achieved when teachers care enough to learn and grow into new roles that enable them to meet the needs of students and convert possibilities into reality. Discerning teachers, shapers of education policy, and students in teacher training will benefit from the lessons to be learned from this engaging and inspiring memoir. Thousands of Kingston College past students scattered in various countries, but still deeply committed to their school, will eagerly reach for this rich chunk of its history.The author's displays an oustanding ability to capture experiences and emotions to which readers can relate even though the events occurred many years ago. She engages the hearts and minds of readers/viewers through her focus on the inner workings of the protagonist's heart and mind as she progresses through various stages as her development as a teacher. Her deeply felt reflections and insights will engage readers in walking with her on this journey numerous students whose lives she shaped.

About The Author

Frances-Marie Coke is a lifelong educator, born in Jamaica. After a decade at Kingston College she worked in personnel and human resource management, designing and facilitating a wide range of training and development programmes. As an administrator and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, she contributed to the work of the Mona School of Business, a major provider of management education in the Caribbean region. Writing has been a major part of her life for over four decades. She won several prizes for poetry, fiction, and playwriting in literary competitions staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. Her poems have appeared in The Jamaica Observer Literary Arts magazine, The Caribbean Writer, the Australian publication Kunapippi, and three Jamaica Observer literary publications, Bearing Witness 1, Bearing Witness 2, and Bearing Witness 3. Since relocating to Florida, she has continued to write and work in education. Frances-Marie has a Master of Arts in English (Northwestern State University of Louisiana and a Master of Arts in Education and Bachelor Arts in English (University of the West Indies, Jamaica). Her publications include two volumes of poetry: Intersections published by Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, UK and The Balm of Dusk Lilies published by the Jamaica Observer Literary Publications.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: iUniverse

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available