Mission to make changes

Principal Jeff Broomes went to the Alexandra School on a mission to make changes.

And those changes, a senior teacher said today, were regardless of whether long-standing teaching staff liked it or not.

Head of Alexandra’s Science Department, Amaida Greaves, gave that evidence today a the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra.

She told the hearing that when the principal was appointed in 2002, he gave staff a document outlining his plans and making it clear that he was “coming to make changes”.

She said staff, including herself, had no problem with the concept of change, but believed it was too early “to evaluate everything”.

“He came to make changes and I would be fair to him and say I thought the changes would have redounded to the benefit of the school,” she said.

“So we were waiting for the changes, but what got us is that sometimes … when he came up with these ideas we would say ‘but this is not what we are accustomed to’, especially if the ideas were looking weird as if they were going to cause problems.”

Greaves said Broomes always made it clear to that while she was permitted to make recommendations to him on matters related to his department, he “didn’t have to follow them”.

She also told the commission she did not know which Broomes she would meet at any time.

“I have met other principals, each person has his or her own strength, weakness, we all make mistakes because we are human but when I go to Mr. Broomes … I do not know who I am going to meet; there are two Mr. Broomes,” she said.

“At one time yes everything is fine and you go in the next time and I don’t know what would have happened before, but you come in (his office) Mr. Broomes is facing the computer and he has not turned. I stand up and wait for him to turn because I am not talking to a back.

“I have not, thank God, been one to get the shouting because as soon as Mr. Broomes raises his voice I put my hand on the door knob, and I don’t shout because he is the principal and you have to respect the office. I just try to get out, if anything I will try to get out,” Greaves added.

The teacher said the Broomes she saw in public and on television was not the one she knew and worked with.

She also believed women aggravated the principal and that the male teachers, including head of the English Department Leslie Lett were more well received. (SC)

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