Try to do your best and give the school system as much strength as you can with the people and students that you have ??? work with them!
This was the key advice given yesterday by Education Minister, Ronald Jones, to an additional five new deputy principals who received their letters of appointment during a brief ceremony at the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Elsie Payne Complex.
The five are: Troy Philips, who will move from Daryll Jordan to The Alleyne School; Rodney Millington, who will go from Ellerslie Secondary School to Coleridge and Parry; Clyde Collymore, from St. George Secondary to Frederick Smith; Yvette Simmons-Jemmott, from Christ Church Foundation School to Deighton Griffith and Stephen Scott, from Harrison College to Parkinson Memorial Secondary.
While the first three will take up their appointment from August 1, Mrs. Simmons-Jemmott and Mr. Scott will begin their tenure from September 1.??In his congratulatory remarks, Minister Jones stressed their appointment was ???neither a gift, privilege or right but a responsibility???. He said: ???It is the practice that you will carry out which will ensure if in fact those who put their scrutiny on you were justified in doing that.???
Reiterating that deputy principals worked in a supportive capacity with the principal, he said this helped to prevent ???all sorts of issues and conflicts??? that may sometimes prevail in schools. He called for mutual respect across the school; regular meetings with the principals; and the building of good interpersonal relationships.
The new leaders were also asked to pay attention to ???non-performance of persons under their charge??? and to record and report any breaches or lack of performance. The Education Minister, while stating that they needed to be strong, firm and committed, pointed out that this would help to break the cycle of poor documentation that might affect any court matters.
Acknowledging that professional development was important to their position, the Minister lamented there were some in the system who had gained qualifications years ago but had never taken refresher courses. He said: ???The world is moving along every day at a rapid pace, and you have to move along with it and gain the information and the skills necessary to impact on a modern day child and a modern day school environment.???
The new appointees were further encouraged to get their schools ???moving back up??? through helping children realise their strengths; building relations with parents; and setting standards. ???You are a face of the Ministry??? if things go badly out there, the Ministry looks bad; if things go bad in here, the schools look bad.
???You set the standards???You are there. Don???t sit in an office 24/7??? Get up sometimes; get up and walk down a corridor and move around??? People have to feel your presence??? move around the school!??? Mr. Jones, a former teacher, said.
Acting Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, told the five they were assuming duties in an era where ???it cannot be business as usual???. ???We need persons who are willing to step up to the plate and who are willing to make decisions??? I expect you will give it your best shot,??? she said.
She added that they would undergo training, since being a deputy principal was ???a completely different scenario from being a head of department or a senior teacher???. Earlier this month, 10 deputy principals also received their appointments.