Deputy got out of Jeff’s way

Deputy Principal of the Alexandra School Beverley Neblett-Lashley attempted and failed on up to five occasions to become a school head there and elsewhere.

But the St. Peter school’s senior administrator today dismissed any suggestions her going on a term’s leave when Principal Jeff Broomes assumed his post in 2002 and taking up an overseas posting between 2004 and 2008 was an attempt to make the principal’s life difficult.

She was giving evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra, which continued at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

In the cast of Alexandra, the deputy said she applied for the post of Alexandra head and failed, and did so in about four other cases.

There was also one instance when she applied for another such position, but withdrew from the process and was not interviewed but she travelled to Louisville, Kentucky in the United States to teach.

“I applied for one and I didn’t go to the interview so I don’t consider that being unsuccessful… I withdrew myself from it,” she said.

The witness said she did not think her being absent from the school would harm Broomes’ chances of adequately settling in.

“At that time the management team was an effective management team, my replacement, Mr. (Victor) Johnson was quite capable of doing all of that, so between the management team and the person who would have taken over my persons

I don’t think Mr. Broomes would have had any difficulty,” she said.

“I gave Mr. Broomes an opportunity to establish himself in the school without statements being made that I was standing in his way. So yes, out of those … years I was away for four.

“From the time Mr. Broomes came, I explained, almost immediately we had a difference of opinion with regards to attendance. Then he referred to the school as a failing school and I had problems with that…

“So I recognised that we were having differences of opinions that could affect his ability to do his job properly, and I removed myself to give him an opportunity to settle in and so I would not be seen as the problem, and yes that was in the interest of the school,” she added. (SC)

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