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Feb 9, 2023

The Story of Belizean Educator Deanna Encalada Nisbet

Today, at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City, a book chronicling the life of a well-known educator was launched. “Service, Generosity, and Grace: The Story of Belizean Educator Deanna Encalada Nisbet” is authored by Jeanette Winsor. The book details the inspiring messages and philosophical ideals shared by Nisbet. The eighty-three-year-old retired educator still believes that no child should be left behind and remains a role model for her former students and other educators as well. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Deanna Nisbet

Deanna Nisbet, Former Educator

“Anything you do, as long as you can respect me and I can respect you, we can get it done – politics included.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Meet eighty-three-year-old Deanna Nisbet, affectionately known by many as Miss D. A career educator who always believed that there is no bad student and saw the potential in all.


Deanna Nisbet

“It was something I really never imagined and primarily I did it for my grandchildren and future other children that I should have, great grandchildren. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on what I have done because I am very grateful for having been in education and having learned and met so many Belizeans that have contributed so much to this country. My philosophy is if I go into a classroom and you tell me that’s a bad student, you can’t tell me that. I need to find that out for myself because immediately your attitude changes towards that child. And actually I have found that. I cannot tell you I have encountered a bad student – bad situation, yes, but not bad students.”


Her life story and career as a teacher – a strict one who fostered respect and discipline within her students – is the subject of a book by Jeanette Winsor. It is entitled “Service, Generosity, and Grace: The Story of Belizean Educator Deanna Encalada Nisbet.”


Jeanette Winsor

Jeanette Winsor, Author

“After talking to her for months on end because we would walk and I would get together with her from time to time at her house, she’d told me all these amazing stories, which I had to write down. Of course, there are a lot of great stories not in this book that I just couldn’t fit in. She told me about her being a young girl in a country that was very poor and I think this is where I really caught the need to write her story and how she went off to the United States to a very prestigious university – well college it was at that time – and I couldn’t believe how she could have gotten there and such a wonderful adventure that she had. And there were many very sad stories as well and obstacles that she had to overcome.”


Among the many students Nisbet taught were Blue Economy Minister Andre Perez, Education Minister Francis Fonseca, and Prime Minister John Briceño. Fonseca, the guest speaker at the launch, said it is important to document the life stories of those who have contributed to education and the country’s development.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“Respect is very important. That has been the theme of her life – respecting everyone, respecting her students and never giving up on students. Always understanding and appreciating that students learn in different ways, students learn at a different pace so it is very important for us in the education system and our teachers in particular to understand and appreciate that every student may be different and how that student learns may be different.”


It was a proud moment for Nisbet and her family.


Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Daughter of Deanna Nisbet

“I bring to everything that I do, what my mom has taught me. And that’s why you see sometimes I get uncomfortable with the show of disrespect because that is one thing that we have learned. You can argue, you can fight, you can disagree, but you can still remain respectful.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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