by Shawn Cumberbatch
It was his way or no way.
That’s how Alexandra School teacher Amaida Greaves deemed management decisions at that institution under the leadership of Principal Jeff Broomes.
Giving evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra today at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, she said this was clear from “early” in the principal’s tenure at the St. Peter school, which started in 2002.
She said Broomes set out to disband the traditional management team at the school and told her and other senior teachers if they didn’t agree he would make all the decisions and they would have to live with them.
Greaves, who is head of the school’s science department, told the commission: “The attempt at disbanding the management team came early, soon after he arrived, maybe within the first two years. He approached us and he said to us that he would like to form I think what he called a leadership team or a leadership committee and he told us what the names were.
“I don’t remember how many Heads of Departments or senior teachers, but there were some, and then there were some junior members of staff and these were the ones with him who would be making policies and helping him with the general administration of the school.
“So we asked, so what would the management team be doing. Well of course he said these are the persons, they will make these decisions and … as a management team we disagreed, we said we did not agree, we feel that what the Government has organised as a management team to run the school should be kept in place,” she added.
She remembered Broomes telling her and other senior members of staff “if we did not agree with the leadership committee then when decisions have to be made he himself would be making the decisions”.
“He said if we allowed him to have the leadership committee then at our heads we would be involved in the decision making. However, without that he alone would be the one making the decision and we would have to live with it,” she testified.
Greaves said this was just an example of the major difficulties she and other teachers had in doing their jobs at Alexandra.