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St George’s School sacks principal!

-Dismissed principal Beverly J. Hinds-Callwood cites school Board's decision as ‘unfair’
Ms Beverly J. Hinds-Callwood told Virgin Islands News Online that “the school has a board and the board has made their decision. They cited poor performance.” Photo: VINO/File
The letter that was sent to all parents and guardians of the St George's Secondary School. Photo: Provided
The letter that was sent to all parents and guardians of the St George's Secondary School. Photo: Provided
Parents and guardians were served a letter notifying them of the impending changes for the new school year at St George's School. It was signed by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr Gerard C. Farara Q.C. (in picture) and Father Ronald Branche respectively.
Parents and guardians were served a letter notifying them of the impending changes for the new school year at St George's School. It was signed by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr Gerard C. Farara Q.C. (in picture) and Father Ronald Branche respectively.
PALESTINA ESTATE, Tortola, VI – The academic year 2012-2013 has reportedly seen the worst performance in the history of the St. George’s School and come the start of the 2013/2014 academic year there will be a new administrative line-up as the Board of Directors has sacked the existing principal.

Concerned about what seems to be a high turnover rate of principals at the secondary division of St George’s School, the decision to hunt for another was brought to the attention of this news site by a concerned parent- a concern also shared by teachers attached to the school.

Parent and guardians were given letters notifying them of the impending changes that are set for the new school year. It was signed by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr Gerard C. Farara Q.C. and Father Ronald Branche respectively.

“As announced at the meeting we have decided to change the current principal. Regrettably the existing plans of the administration and the expectations of our parents have not been realized during this school year. In order to put matters back on track, we took the bold step of appointing the Vice Principal, Mrs. Gonzales, and the senior teacher, Mrs. Faith Ann Adams as temporary joint administrators, to take on the role and task of addressing the issues of immediate concern and working towards a positive outcome for the school community,” the memorandum stated.

Contacted as it relates to the sacking of the principal and the other surrounding issues which have apparently plagued the school, Mr Farara indicated his willingness to sit with this news site at a more convenient time to discuss the issue. He declined to comment further except to dispel the claim that the school has had a high turn-over of principals. According to the Board Chairman, the new principal expected to take over in September 2013, will make number 4 for the 9-year existence of the school. He said the first principal’s stint was short lived at his own choice, the second spent about six to seven years and Ms Beverly J. Hinds-Callwood, whose service is being terminated by the Board, would have been the third.

Ms Hinds-Callwood who had also offered to discuss the issues surrounding her being sacked from the principal’s position at the St Georges Secondary School was not comfortable to speak until after the graduation exercise on Wednesday June, 27, 2013. Efforts to reach her on Thursday proved futile. She had, however, told Virgin Islands News Online that “the school has a board and the board has made their decision. They cited poor performance,” Ms Hinds-Callwood said.

She did admit that the school had performed at its worse in its history this year, but noted that it was unfair to cast the blame at her heels as she was not given sufficient time and opportunity two make her mark for the better of the school. Ms Hinds-Callwood has been at the school for about two years, one year as a regular teacher and the second as principal. She said that at the beginning of the first academic term she was faced with the challenge of a shortage of three teachers and even had to shift her focus on filling in as a full time teacher in the best interest of the students.

“I couldn't focus on the administrative aspects until the second term. My duties as principal had to be pushed aside. It wasn't until the second term that I got into my principal duties and before the end of the third term the board has sited poor performance. In my mind that is not fair as I was not given the opportunity to perform and prove myself,” she noted.

According the Hinds-Callwood, who appeared very discrete and humble at the situation, there are many “intrinsic things” that need to be addressed in the school. “A lot of things need to be addressed, I don’t want to say further at this time but lots, lots, need to be done within that school system and they were not fair to me given that I was in the position under a year when they made the decision,” she added.

She said she was not asked to return to her substantive position as a teacher and said, “At this time I would say no, I am going to let my God fight the battle, but to return as a teacher there, right now I would say no, I don’t think so.”

The letter circulated had given the indication that the school has been hit with a shortage of teachers also. “Meanwhile, we have advertised the post of Principal and advertised for teachers to fill the vacancies, given the goals we wish to achieve in the new school year, 2013-2014,” stated the circular.

The Board has reassured that it has the interest of both parent and students at heart and intends to work closely with all stakeholders in the “re-alignment” of the school. “We are confident that 2013-2014 will be the year when St. George’s Secondary will move to a higher level in the quality of education we offer in this Territory.”

While we were not able to secure the full break down of the school’s performance at this year’s School Leaving Examinations, we were able confirm that of the 15 students who sat this year, 11 passed and there is a likelihood that there will be one more added to the pass number as a matter is reportedly being sorted out at the level of the Ministry of Education.

54 Responses to “St George’s School sacks principal!”

  • tom cat (28/06/2013, 09:16) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    well saw in the middle of gruduation????
    • Cutty Wise (28/06/2013, 11:03) Like (16) Dislike (16) Reply
      Well if you spell GRADUATION "GRUDUATING" it is safe to say you never participated in one.
  • weed (28/06/2013, 09:31) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    hope he hires a local
    • me (28/06/2013, 09:55) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      Did you read her last name.....Mrs Hinds-Callwood how much more local do you prefer
      • bvi (28/06/2013, 11:26) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
        Hinds is not a local name. She is probably married to a Callwood, a BVIslander. I believe the name Hinds is Barbadian
        • me (28/06/2013, 12:46) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
          and your point being.......she is married to a local person isn't she? Furthermore why do one have to care if they hire a local person or not as a parent of the school my main concern is my child's education am paying a hefty school fee for a reason.....So whether they higher a local or not it matters not Quality Education and the head who insures that this is done is what I require.
        • vi (28/06/2013, 16:38) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
          Now tell me, which one on the last name in tortola is local, all the people were brought to this island by ships, they say the arawaks were here first, tell me please how they get here and if so find out what were the arawaks last name, with all u nonesense, all of the come from down or up island to get here.
      • Me (29/06/2013, 21:27) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        She is actually bajan just married to a tolan
  • Failiure (28/06/2013, 09:43) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    Don't let the door hit ya!
  • concern parent (28/06/2013, 09:45) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    I Think that Father Branch & Mr. Fara are unfare to Mrs. Hinds-Callwood. She was not given a fair chance to prove herself. For the first term at the school she had to teach several classes because there was never a full slate of teachers, then the second term came & it was the same thing with even teachers leaving. They need to tell the truth about the school and not blame Mrs. Callwood. They are the ones to blame because they knew what was going on, but now they want people to send their children to the school so that is why they are now coming out & geting rid of Mrs. Callwood. Father Branch please be fair to Mrs. Callwood if you want people to respect you as a Minister of the Gospel.
  • Makes no sense (28/06/2013, 10:08) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is unfortunate and would seem to be unfair when you ask a person to be the principle and then have them trying to fill in for teachers who the board should have hired. It would seem that they would have corrected the shortage of teachers before they terminated this educator.

    So now you are short 3 teachers and 1 principle. Pulling two teachers to take on the responsibilities of the principle will only mean you are now short even more teachers. Maybe just maybe you should have kept her on board and correct the real issue which it seems is the shortage of teachers
    • ann (28/06/2013, 10:48) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      This outrage amuses me
    • Online Now (28/06/2013, 11:31) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
      Which is down to work permits not being processed in a timely manner. when it comes to the kids education, some priority should be given to the process.
    • bvi (28/06/2013, 13:19) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      Principal not Principle. You typed it 3 times in this comment which means you don't know the difference
  • concern parent (28/06/2013, 10:15) Like (5) Dislike (209) Reply
    You all have some uncute, ill mannered, unpleasant teachers in the primary school that you all need to get rid of especially in the present two class four and you all still have there. They need to tend to pigs and hugs not people children. My child was in one of those classes and was treated like sub human. I am asking the chair and vice chairman of the board to do something and do it now. Other wise!!
    • Hmmmm (30/06/2013, 01:30) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      You worried about class 4 teacher. The news needs take up the cheatin story about the 2 class 5 teachers who were alleged to have cheated in the exams by given students answers for the primary exams n the board did nothing about it. Here you are trying to send what apppears to be a warning message. Sad

      • OMG (30/06/2013, 16:04) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        Are you telling me that no one from the board has investigate this allegation ABOUT CLASS 5 TEACHERS CHEATING? What the heck is the PRINCIPAL AND BOARD doing about this?
        • student (30/06/2013, 19:38) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
          meh son thats y the questions were so familiar to what we revised before the test by the class 2 teacher...
          • what (30/06/2013, 20:44) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
            Are you saying that the class 2 and class 5 teachers were all cheating? What on earth is happening at this school? where is the principal in all of this? I think they fired the wrong principal. the board need to take a strong look at the elementary principal. we cant have cheats teaching our students.
          • swag (01/07/2013, 22:14) Like (0) Dislike (11) Reply
            ayo ah some sell out meh son
    • Class 4 parent (30/06/2013, 06:20) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      The current class 4 teachers were wonderful, they made a significant impact on my child's work. They are no nonsense and disciplinarians. The school system would benefit from more teachers like these two young ladies.
    • Really? (30/06/2013, 12:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      My dear you are worried about your child’s education which is your right to, but do not place the blame on your child’s lack of performance where it doesn't belong. There is only so much a teacher can do if parents are not playing their part. Example you choose to reply to this news story and you didn't take the time to learn how “uncouth” or “hog” is spell. Hmmmm- I can just imagine what the child’s homework is like. Please do your part in your child's education before you start pointing fingers at others.
  • parent (28/06/2013, 10:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    At the end of the it 11 students of 15 students graduated, and yet the Principal was sacked. Hmmm, did 11 students truly graduate?
  • parent (28/06/2013, 11:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    As my Stanford Connor said years ago WHO TO BLAME
  • C minus (28/06/2013, 11:20) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    It seems that the board need to go back to school. It,s very obvious that they are trying to cover up their failings to appoint additional teachers. I hope Mrs Callsood seeks legal remedy for unfair dismissal. She certainly has much support.
  • kevin (28/06/2013, 11:20) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    hope the poor child was not bully out of a job for sme of deeds pareants have such tactics ..
  • me (28/06/2013, 12:19) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Shortage of that many teachers?! Seems like the board is passing the buck on this one. They all need to get their act together.
  • Sarah (28/06/2013, 12:46) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms. Callwood was given a sieve to carry water, and the Board well knows this.
  • the rock (28/06/2013, 13:25) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    mrs. callwood sometime God sends us blessings in many ways..this could be yours..take it and run with it..teachers and pricipals are always in need of..if u had to teach and still lead then I think that was unfair..again u've got your blessings!
  • milly (28/06/2013, 13:44) Like (2) Dislike (213) Reply
    you right jerry do what you have to do i know u aint stupid she just shame thats all .its a lot of things going on. who know know. fire them .for the sake of the kids .2yrs and still cant get her act together.
    • l (28/06/2013, 14:31) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      She has NOT been there for 2 years. Please read the article again.
    • Hmm (28/06/2013, 22:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      you are so ignorant to the matter. before u look to post a comment u should really get ur facts right! She has been teaching and trying to do her job both at once. That would be unfair to anybody. SHE IS NOT TO BE BLAMED!
    • Ppd (28/06/2013, 22:47) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      It's 1 year not two learn how to read
    • you right (29/06/2013, 10:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      many things goes on in that school and the public eyes does not know about ....she never got her act together so she nned to take whats coming to her .....
  • parent (28/06/2013, 14:07) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
    I Think that Mrs. Callwood-Hinds did a good job with what she had to deal with. Father Branch & Jerry Farara knew what pressure she was under from the beginning of the school year and they did nothing to correct the situation. They are only now coming & blaming her for the failures at the school knowing well that it is their fault of not having enough teachers & having teachers leaving every term. Youall need to be fare to Mrs. Callwood and not scandal her name making people belieave that she did not do a good job. The fault is on the Board, because youall knew what was going on from the begining and only taking people money for Tuition.
  • Concerned (28/06/2013, 15:00) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Lets face it people- "fairness and injustice" is the order of the day in the bvi. May God help us all.
  • ccc (28/06/2013, 15:46) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    more in teh mota..but the ruth will come out
  • ccc (28/06/2013, 15:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    more in teh mota..but the ruth will come out
  • dady (28/06/2013, 16:05) Like (1) Dislike (88) Reply
    people if you know nothing about the situation refrain from commenting the principal needed to be fired from day one and for those of you who wish to contest this i am in a better position to make that comment then you all commenting
  • wise up (28/06/2013, 16:25) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    you can NOT have classes without teachers; most times NO teachers were at that school to teach a given subject and Mrs callwood filled in and thought the subject......
  • HELP! (28/06/2013, 16:32) Like (3) Dislike (58) Reply
    Can someone from the elementary stage of St. Georges please offer some sort of advice for the restructuring of the secondary division. Ms Llandover please help!!!!
  • another concernced parent.... (28/06/2013, 17:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think the dismissal was premature and unfair given the nature of what she had to work with. She was not given sufficient time to prove herself. I am disappointed in the decision of the Board and the way in which it was handled. Given the fact that there is already a shortage of teachers was it a wise and prudent move to do this now. It does not seem like much forethought was given...........
  • A student of the school (28/06/2013, 18:07) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    To me mrs Callwood Did her best this year she showed that she cared about her student by being a teacher when there was a teacher missing for that subject she played a science and a math teacher and she did a good job making sure that we understand see people would take what they want because they are never there too see what was going on people always have something bad to talk about but never seen nothing so come on and give her a next chance and stop being selfish look on the good side at less she did her best and filled in for the teachers that where missing and the two other people that are going to be taking over are also teachers they would be the same as mrs Callwood
  • A Student At The School (28/06/2013, 18:24) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Too me Mrs.Callwood was The best you could ever have! she showed that she cared about you and you could have come and tell her anything even if you wanna talk she was a chill Teacher. You see yall never see the good in people always see the bad quick to talk about what yall don't know. never did one day Mr Farara Or Father Branche come and sat in the class room to see how we was doing Mrs Callwood would always pass around to call the class room to see what we was doing making sure that we was good they never did that . see yall dont know nothing Mrs Callwood played a role in being a MATH and a SCIENCE teacher and she did a wonderful job at it making sure we understand and she made sure we got it. Mrs Adams * The History and Social Studies teacher* and Mrs Gonzales * The Spanish Teacher* are also like Mrs Callwood they would have to play TWO ROLES LIKE SHE DID. So look at the bright side and give Mrs.Callwood a next chance cause she wants whats best for the school!
  • student (28/06/2013, 19:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a sweet smile she got..pity it could not keep her on the JOB..Lol
  • Well... (28/06/2013, 20:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Did she teach you English, too? You need to learn how to use commas and periods correctly.
  • The Board (29/06/2013, 03:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Needs to let the Principal run the school from constantly meddling and micro-managing. Until they do that, teachers will leave and more principals will come and go. Branche please let the principal do her job.
    • tola (29/06/2013, 14:35) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are spot on, 'The Board'! The St George's Board needs to stop pussyfooting around and deal with the real issues of the school. As the principal succintly put it, there are a number of 'intrinsic things' that need to be addressed adequately before any further steps can be implmented. A carpenter knows that he cannot build a house with out first laying a very firm foundation. Similarly, the Board should know that for a school to run effectively, certains basic things need to be in place.
      The Principal has only just served less than one full academic school year, hence, it is very foolish of the Board to fire her for incompetence, when they are quite aware, I hope, of the many 'intrinsic things' lacking in the school. It is totally unjust to fire a principal, whom is very experienced in administration, for negligible issues. Mrs Hinds-Callwaood may have faltered along the way, no doubt, like all of us do at some point, but to label her as incompetent is taking it beyond. Any wise administrator will know that a school cannot and will not function efficiently and effectively without sound, prudent decisions. The Board should have advised the principal to acclimatise herself first with the culture of the BVI before making any decisions. I personally believe that that was her downfall, but she should have been informed by the Board.
      I would only hope, moving forward, that the Board will start being more proactive in the life of the school and stop being only interested in the monetary gains to be derived from it. I would want to think that QC Farara and Canon Branche know that once they start investing real time, money and energies into the school, ensuring that its teachers are well comfortable, fully mandated with the vision of the school, only the student intake will improve drastically. Otherwise, they are just being penny wise and pund foolish.
      And, NO, I am not a member of staff, neither am I a parent. I am an educator here on the island, and have been folllowing very keenly the goings on of the school. Further I say not.
  • A Student (29/06/2013, 10:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    St.geroge's need to shut down and get their act together before they robb people out of there money , to many parents pull there child out for this term alone.... and still they are going to put to teachers who do not know what they are doing.....just SHUT DOWN and done with it
  • Tolian (29/06/2013, 13:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    They are really heartless!
  • in all fairness (29/06/2013, 20:19) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Quality education does not come cheap. This iis karma - it had to happen sooner or later. The Board should be ashamed for the low salaries they are paying the secondary school teachers there. That is why they do not hire local teachers. They cannot hide from the truth.

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