The names of the appointees of four new School Leader positions created as a result of plans to modularize George Hicks High School were announced last week at a meeting between school staff, the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education.
The announcement follows innovative moves made jointly by the Ministry, the Department of Education and senior staff at George Hicks, to address concerns identified through consultation with staff and students, said a press release from the Ministry.
The plans address such urgent issues as overcrowding and the staggered shift system whilst the new schools are under construction.
The solution entails the creation of four new schools from the existing one on the same site. The concept is referred to as ‘schools within schools’ and the four new schools will be separate and independent of each other, each with its own distinct site, identity and leadership, the release explained. Each school will have its own name, uniform, vision and ethos.
One of the most significant benefits to students of this modular solution is that each school will be limited to a maximum of 250 children, reducing the student population and thereby considerably enhancing the learning experience.
The traditional role of Principal will be superseded by that of School Leader, and will be freed of administrative and routine distractions to concentrate on creating the best possible learning experience for students, the release 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,’ commented Gareth Long, Schools Development Advisor for the Ministry.
‘Parental support has also been overwhelming and the Ministry is grateful for the efforts of all who have helped make this project a reality.’
Although the search extended beyond George Hicks, each of the new appointees is among the current staff of the school. The new School Leaders are: Steven Clark, Lyneth Monteith, Marlene Ricketts and June Elliott. Each will be assisted by a Deputy School Leader, respectively: Ian Godet, Evelyn Rockett, Brad Taylor and Mellony Bryan.
Mr. 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 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 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.