Wrong in assessment

Abena Williams

English teachers Vernell Woods and Abena Williams were also mentioned jointly in the Commission’s report.

The Commissioner in section 9.27 (E) referred to both women as “young, bright, articulate and dedicated teachers… who support the new initiatives being introduced by the Principal.

While defending the two against Barbados Secondary Teacher Union head Mary Redman’s characterisation of them as “Yes people”, the report nevertheless delivered some deft recommendations in relation to them.

It noted that both had emerged as leaders of the junior teacher, “most of whom are not appointed permanently and are therefore dependent on the favourable assessment of the Principal for their continued employment at Alexandra School”. It mentioned what it termed the teachers refusal to interact with senior teachers, adding that they did not engage in critical comments about Broomes.

Both Woods and Williams, it said had been “unjustifiably critical” of the Deputy Principal, Beverley Neblett-Lashley.

Woods, it said, attacked the Deputy Principal for “poor managerial and professional skills”, while Williams did the same for Neblett-Lashley “burdening the junior staff with a heavy load of substitutions”.

“On close examination by Counsel both teachers have found to be wrong in their assessment of the Deputy Principal. Mrs. Woods previously taught at St. Lucy Secondary School where she was a Senior Teacher and came to Alexandra for whatever reason as a Junior Teacher. Ms. Williams previously taught at Lodge School.

“The influence which these two competent teachers have over other junior teachers and their support for the principal is likely to have a polarizing effect in the future which does not necessarily contribute to harmony at the School.”

But in its recommendations, the report suggested that, “Either one or both of these teachers should be transferred to other public secondary schools in the teaching service at a convenient time in the near future.”

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