‘My Brand Compass’ gets added to school curriculum at The Heinz Simonitch School

Author Terri-Karelle Reid attends rap session with students on brand-building

After attending the book signing of Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid’s newly released book; My Brand Compass, Tamar McKenzie, Principal and Founder of the Heinz Simonitch School in Rose Hall Montego Bay knew that this text had to find its way into the hands of the 6th form students at her institution. The Brand-building compass is being used in the institution as its featured text for personal development: a mandatory course for all high school students.

McKenzie purchased over 45 books after realizing the learning opportunity that it affords and the gap that was left with her students because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to her, “Returning to Face-to-Face school forced us as school administrators to brace for the many challenges that our students and faculty would return with outside of learning loss. Many issues would have magnified, resulting in a major breakdown of values that support and anchor our respective eco systems – such as respect for self, others and boundaries, discipline and good order.”

She continued, “To manage this new space that was created by our absence of physical interaction, we thought it prudent to use a new approach – one that was not punitive but developmental and prioritized student ownership and their own brand positioning.”

A former Campionite, McKenzie has first-hand experience of the value of personal development and the impact that it has on a child’s life. “When students fully understand and appreciate their value – standards shift upwards, self- love, self-respect and value appreciates. This positively impacts their decision-making, accountability of self and their prioritizing and de-prioritizing of tasks and responsibilities. This discovery of personal branding is the best gift to them as they step on to the launch pads of the rest of their lives,” she said.

Reid was also a guest of the school where she participated in a question and answer with the students as they discussed varying topics around branding and the 13 C’s that were mentioned in ‘My Brand Compass.’ According to her, “I was blown away by some of the questions that these students asked. They were thoughtful, deep, challenging and intellectually stimulating and some of the best questions that I have ever been asked. What this inclusion in their curriculum signals to me is the value that the principal and the wider school society places on character development of their students,” she stated.

The feedback from the students have been remarkable shared McKenzie. She explains that the students can been seen actively reading the books during their breaks and making references to it in their conversations and writing. According to her, “Their own presentation of self has also significantly improved both in the physical space and online. There has been a total shift in the space, and we are better for it.” She continued, “Impressive changes are seen, and our students continue to step out using the strategies shared. Their coping skills commonly experienced during this period is now more tactical and they have taken ownership of their lives, their decisions, and their future. This process of their self-discovery while being guided by this tool kit is nothing short of amazing,” she ended.

“My Brand Compass: the 13C’s to building your personal brand” is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle format, as well as locally at Kingston Bookshop branches.