Move Broomes!

Transfer him to “another Government department”, pay him more money if necessary, but Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes has got to be separated.

That recommendation came today from one of the people who has worked closest to the school head in his time at the St. Peter institution, but with whom relations soured, his former Secretary Betty Williams.

The woman, who worked at Alexandra for 34 years and was recommended to her post by Broomes after serving as clerk typist between July 18, 1977 and September 1, 2004, said her former boss was “a very intelligent man” with a contribution to make, but that she did not see meaningful change at the school with him in charge.

She made her assertions today while giving evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into the school, when it continued sittings at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

Responding to questions from Barbados Secondary Teachers Union lawyer, Hall Gollop, Williams recommendation was for Broomes to be transferred elsewhere in the civil service and not to another school because “he would do the same thing all over again”.

“I personally feel that they should put him in another Government department, give him the same salary, or even if they want to even increase it and let him go where he can sit in an office and do his work,” she said.

“I find that yes he is highly intelligent but something goes wrong with his head at some point in time, something goes wrong with him, I don’t know what it is.”

Williams said Broomes was often adamant that his way was the only way and that was one of the reasons he ran into problems with people.

“Don’t get me wrong, he has good ideas, but something is wrong that he cannot implement them the correct way,” she stated.

The witness also pointed to difficulties between the principal and chairman of the Board of Management as a major part of the problem at Alexandra.

A very close relationship, had since degenerated to limited communication up to the time she retired late last year, Williams noted.

“At first I thought they were very, very close, but in recent times I don’t know what happened, it seems as though they drifted apart,” she said.

“Mr. Simmons would come on the compound and he would just sign the cheques and get in his vehicle and go. They were very, very, very close in earlier times.” (SC)

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