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Published 24th May 2006, 1:57pm

Students of the new schools are certain to benefit also from a clearer focus by senior staff on teaching, learning and attainment. The traditional role of ‘Principal’ will be superseded by that of ‘School Leader’, and will be freed of administrative and routine distractions to concentrate purely on creating the best possible learning experience for students.

The Ministry’s inclusive approach to the development of the ‘schools within schools’ concept for George Hicks has helped secure support for the process from all stakeholder groups. Gareth Long, Schools Development Advisor for the Ministry, was keen to thank participants for their hard work and contributions. Mr. Long said, “Throughout the consultation process there has been very positive support from George Hicks staff, members of which are already actively planning for the new schools. Parental support has also been overwhelming and the Ministry is grateful for the efforts of all who have helped make this project a reality.”

The four teaching professionals who will fill the new ‘School Leader’ positions are long-standing and respected members of Cayman’s education fraternity. Although the search extended beyond George Hicks, each of the new appointees is among the current staff of the school and brings the requisite skills, experience and vision for the task. The new School Leaders are: Mr. Steven Clark, Mrs. Lyneth Monteith, Ms. Marlene Ricketts and Mrs. June Elliott. Each of these is to be assisted by a Deputy School Leader, respectively: Mr. Ian Godet, Ms. Evelyn Rockett, Mr. Brad Taylor and Ms. Mellony Bryan.

Mr. Steven Clark responded to his new appointment by saying, “I am very excited about being chosen as a School Leader. I appreciate that it is going to be a very challenging position but I am confident that with the support of my excellent team we will provide an exciting, stimulating and enjoyable learning experience for our students.”

Ms. Marlene Ricketts said, “I’m pleased and excited to be chosen as a leader for one of the new schools. It offers me a great opportunity to actively contribute to the changes that are taking place in our school system.”

The Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture, Honourable Alden McLaughlin, JP, attended the meeting at George Hicks High School at which the new appointments were announced before the entire school staff.

The Minister said, “I am thrilled by the enthusiasm and creativity demonstrated by these individuals. This innovative approach to the provision of student-focused learning centers presents each of our new school leaders with an exciting opportunity to make great strides in education in Cayman.” The Minister added, “I think the inevitable competition between schools will inspire great things from staff and students alike!”

The new ‘schools within schools’ concept was developed locally in consultation with Professor Stephen Heppell, an internationally recognized authority on school and classroom design, as well as innovations in education. Following his initial visit in February, Professor Heppell returned to the Cayman Islands earlier this month to assist with developments in education.

Left to right: Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer), Miss Marlene Ricketts, Mr. Brad Taylor, Hon. Alden McLaughlin
Left to right: Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer), Miss Marlene Ricketts, Mr. Brad Taylor, Hon. Alden McLaughlin
Left to right: Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer), Miss Mellony Bryan, Mrs. June Elliott, Hon. Alden McLaughlin
Left to right: Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer), Miss Mellony Bryan, Mrs. June Elliott, Hon. Alden McLaughlin
Left to right: Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer), Mr. Steve Clark, Mr. Ian Godet, Hon. Alden McLaughlin
Left to right: Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer), Mr. Steve Clark, Mr. Ian Godet, Hon. Alden McLaughlin
Left to right: Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Ms. Evelyn Rockett, Mrs. Lyneth Monteith, Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer)
Left to right: Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Ms. Evelyn Rockett, Mrs. Lyneth Monteith, Mrs. L. Angela Martins (Ministry Chief Officer)