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Differences from day one

The first and second in command at the Alexandra School had differences from day one.

That’s what the Commission of Enquiry on the school’s administration and management heard today from Principal Jeff Broomes, who said it was clear from the beginning that he had a different vision from that of Deputy Principal Beverley Neblett-Lashley.

“We started that from the very first day… We had disagreements from the very first day because we had different visions for the school,” the principal said, as he responded to questions from the commission’s senior counsel, Milton Pierce.

“I am saying to you from the very first day that I went to Alexandra for an interview there were different visions being put on the table by the deputy and myself when were interviewed for the position.”

Despite the differences of opinion, Broomes said Neblett-Lashley did not give him “hell”.

“I do not think she made my life hell, at no time did I say she made my life hell, because she did not. I think we disagree and I think sometimes the disagreements are where her principled positions and my principled positions clash,” he told the tribunal.

“There were disagreements at times, but despite those disagreement I think the deputy did what her duties required of her. But there were times when her principled and particular position and mine, which were equally strong, clashed.”

He said the deputy “is not the type of person that would sit down and do nothing”, and he had “smiled” when he heard commission testimony that she had minimal input in the running of Alexandra.

Broomes also said contrary to evidence at the commission he was open to opposing views, and that a number of individuals, including his deputy and teachers Leslie Lett and Michael Boyce approached him and articulated positions they thought he was wrong on and sometimes he changed his position.

“At the end of the day the tactical work of the school must be consistent with the strategic plan of the school,” he said. (SC)

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