Jeff Broomes to retire next year
Principal of the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School Jeff Broomes will retire from the teaching service on May 1, next year.
Broomes made this announcement today while speaking to reporters at his office at the Pinelands, St Michael learning institution.
“My plan was always that I would go on long leave this term and return to school and retire sometime in February. That was a plan. Unfortunately the ministry wrote me and told me yes, I can get long leave but I have to retire immediately after long leave. I ignored that because no one can tell me when to retire. What is this new negotiation that as soon as one gets long leave one has to retire? Long leave does not mean much to me because one just stays at home and gets paid.”
Broomes told reporters he discussed his retirement with his family and has informed the powers that be of his decision.
Dismissing claims that there were problems at Parkinson Memorial Secondary School, Broomes, a former trade unionist, contended that he was aware unions would flex their muscles from time to time.
“I always work within the rules and regulations of the law. I think we have some good teachers at the Parkinson School but some were misled. I saw a lot of unfortunate things happening that had no bearing on the truth. People will always have a problem with me in education,” Broomes said.
Commenting on charges that there was a problem with his management style, Broomes asked: “ Does everybody like Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s management style? Doe’s everybody like Opposition Leader Mia Mottley’s management style? Does everybody like President Obama management style? They do not have to like my management style. My management style will always be consistent with the rules and regulations. I do not have to be your friend. I will always be like a headlight charting a vision.”
The controversial educator argued that school was not only about academics, but must entail producing a more rounded individual.
Broomes expressed grave concern that many secondary schools were not giving some students a second year in fifth form and disclosed that he was introducing a mentorship programme in the school where a fifth former will serve as big brother or sister to two first formers.
“I will have these fifth formers who are given a second chance sign a contract. They have to make sure that they pay all the fees for books, petty fees as well as all outstanding fees before being re-admitted to the school. They have to do the studies, attend class regularly, and do work. However, I have built in a component of service because they must serve as big brother or sister for two first formers. They have to make the connection with the parents of the children. They must check on their homework and ensure that they are properly dressed.”
Strong disagreement with his senior staff over his management style led to industrial action by teachers at Alexandra School in 2010 and again in 2012, where Broomes was the principal. Following an investigation into administration and management of the school, 18 Alexandra teachers were among 40 islandwide who were reassignment, with Broomes transferred to Parkinson.
However, controversy followed him there as tensions rose between Broomes and the teachers, who protested against what they claimed were his management style and attitude to the staff. (NC)