Heatley: “I Am Committed To Bermuda Students”

March 18, 2014

Dr Edmond Heatley, August 26 2013-4 [Updated] Bermuda’s Commissioner of Education Dr Edmond Heatley addressed the reports he was shortlisted for a job in the United States, saying he appreciates that there may be some who will question his commitment, however added that he remains “committed to the students of Bermuda.”

Dr. Heatley, an American, took up the post in Bermuda on September 11, 2013; and recent news reports indicated that he was shortlisted for the position of Superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board in Louisiana.

In a statement issued today, Dr. Heatley said: “I feel I should apologize for the last few days of press coverage. It is unfortunate the way this situation has played out in the media and cast a negative light on both my position and the good progress we are making in public education.

“I can confirm that I am a finalist in a superintendent search in Orleans Parish.

“This was not a proactive search by me; I was invited to apply and I did. I have not applied for any other jobs. My resume is not ‘out there.’ And frankly, I was also surprised that my name was announced publicly in open session, as a finalist by the search committee.

“Back in December when I allowed my résumé to be put forward, there were a number of major, and from my perspective, unsettling changes within the Ministry,” continued Dr. Heatley.

“The PS had resigned, the Education Ministry had been merged with another Ministry and the Minister had been replaced. However, since then, I am pleased to report that I have built a very positive working relationship with the current PS and Minister.

“I appreciate that there may be some who will question my commitment. These would be people who do not see me work every day and who do not understand what it takes to move an education system in a progressive direction. I remain committed to the students of Bermuda and I remain committed to improving the Bermuda education system.”

Update 3.09pm: The Bermuda Union of Teachers responded to Dr. Heatley’s commments, with the BUT’s response following in full below.

We accept the Commissioner’s reaffirmation of his commitment to the public school system of Bermuda, and more specifically to the students who are the main reason why teachers participate in this tough but enjoyable work of shaping destinies.

It is quite understandable that under a cloud of possible uncertainty due to the radical changes at the Ministry that the Commissioner responded to an invitation in the Orleans School System.

We are still prepared to hold him 100% accountable to the initial commitment he has made to the people of Bermuda, which boils down to executing excellence in educational outcomes for our students and parents.

However, we are also mindful that our Teachers are expected to, and have always performed and acted professionally, in spite of the constant changes and upheavals around them. Teachers experience changes in Principals, changes in Permanent Secretaries, and an ever revolving door of Ministers.

More acutely, there has been an avalanche of changes in curriculum, policies, and initiatives, but our committed Teachers have soldiered on and continue to perform at the highest level imaginable. For this extraordinary display of visible perseverance, our Teachers deserve 1000 Cheers!

It is understandable that Teachers expect the same scope of devotion and resilience from all those who labor tirelessly in the painstaking task of nation building through public education.

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Comments (46)

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  1. Tough Love says:

    But what will you do if you are selected?!? How do you not answer the most pertinent question regarding this situation?

    I feel that you should “get cracking” as was suggested. That’s grounds for dismissal in any other position when a person is on probation.

    • for real says:

      where is the world is it grounds for dissmissal to make sure you are still marketable. anybody that does not put themseves out into the market on at least yearly or bi yearly is not being prudent in any economy mych less this one.

    • Speak Truth says:

      The sad reality is that we Bermudians will accept this poor excuse from Heatley. This reveals he had no commitment to our children despite who the PS or Minister is or was. I think this is merely a way to cover up his action. This is damage control at best nicely controlled.

      Lack of real commitment should result in packing his bags and letting the door hit him in the back. We need much more for our children.

  2. Evie says:

    Well…Dr. Heatley certainly does NOT state that he has withdrawn his application for the position of Superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board of Louisiana.

    • Speak Truth says:

      He will not answer, as we Bermudians fail to press and demand better of such. The government will not share with us the real story as well. It is without a doubt the Minister of Education knows more. This should be an easy decision to make, but nothing will be done.

  3. 1minute says:

    So, he is going to withdraw his application?

  4. The Dark Knight Returns says:

    A person of positive ethics would never have put their name forward for another position. When I was fifteen and working at one gas station I felt bad when I shopped around look ping for a better paying job. I am more than sure that this fella is getting well paid for his services here in Bermuda. Hence, if he was truly committed to Bermuda students he would never have put his name forward. A way to tell someone’s true character is to check their response when their hand is caught in the cookie jar.ho I really didn’t want to do it, Sam told me too. Send this fella cracking…….

  5. spot2 says:

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about? I have a job that I am very happy in, however, I’m ALWAYS looking to further my career. I have my resume out there all the time waiting for the next opportunity. I’m sure most other people do also.

    • Evie says:

      Certainly no one could be faulted for looking for the best possible position in their field. However, Dr. Heatley did not state this as his reason for applying. First, he was ‘invited’ to apply, then it’s the resigning of the PS, merging of the Ministry and the change of Ministry.

      Me think he doth protest too much…

    • WhistleBlower says:

      Do you have his CREDENTIALS?? Did you get the job he is RESPONSIBLE for? Where you even awake when citizens demanded GOVERNMENT reconsider giving this man the job????

      Then please be quite and learn! No one is saying to NOT look besides you claim to be “Have a job that you are happy in!” For the love of understanding – Why are you “ALWAYS looking to further your career?”

      Please folks if you do not understand situations be quiet!! PLEASE!!!

  6. Get over it. says:

    SOme of you never heard about keeping yourself current in the job market. I have always used Headhunters in different regions. I still have them using my Resume even though I am happy where I am at. I have been short listed for 3 jobs in the past year, and just had to be the bigger person and turned them down. If there is a hot commodity that come to my attention I may just take it. However, there is nothing wrong just throwing yourself out there to see what opportunities you can job match yourself with. That probably why some people stay at the same dead end job making no money hoping that someone rescues them from their work place.

    • Tough Love says:

      This was not an attempt to keep himself current in the job market. It was an attempt to jump ship, per his own remarks. So now we have to hope he doesn’t if he’s offered the job.

      Some how I doubt that your line of work is with children.

  7. RME says:

    I’m no fan of the current Government, but I don’t care what was going on at the time. If you were truly committed to our students, you would not have allowed your name to be put forward after just a few months on the job.

    • Redo says:

      “Allowed” his name to be put forward? As if someone else submitted his resume for him? No, he submitted it himself, with a cover letter stating how qualified he was for the position and why he wanted it. That’s how it’s done. He’s making it sound like someone, perhaps the tooth fairy, submitted his name. Ain’t how it happened people. He actively sought this move.

  8. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Two words…damage control!

  9. Starting Point says:

    Personally I think he is just chasing the bigger pay check in the best location for himself, I do however not see how ‘caring’ about our kids makes any difference at all. As if he, or the education ministry, or a teacher is supposed to make up for the miserable job we are doing in making families on this island.

    constantly people are crying about the system, crying about this and that, and our kids when in reality, the behaviours, lack of focus, lack of boundaries, lack of authority etc. are 100% the fault of the parent, the grandparents and the community.

    My kid is in public school and is doing incredible, he is almost done, will go to a university (will have a choice), he won’t get a scholarship most likely so that will be our burden but he will go.

    start with this list, if you get past it and are still struggling in the public system then you can complain: Dated your spouse extensively prior to marriage, live together prior to marriage, got married, were married for a while then planned to have a child, had a child, read to him every night since birth, used only kind caring language around him, give him everything he needs (only needs love FYI), played with him outside in the dirt, climbed tree, jumped off docks etc. went to every single parent teacher meeting, hugged and kissed his mom in front of him daily, traded off on chores, limited time watching TV, cleaning so the other spouse could rest, made sure he followed his grandparents rules in their house, made sure he got to school on time with lunch (fruit, snack, water) every day.

    this is a snap shot of what a family is, i could add tons more…SURPRISE, having kids is work, and a privilege that many on this island have completely disrespected.

    rant over.

    • inna says:

      Well written post, but one thing that puts me off is when you say that your son will go away to University and WILL NOT get a scholarship. If is he is doing as well as you say, and applies himself to a multitude of scholarships available, then I think there is a good chance he will be shortlisted and might even be selected as a recipient!

      Maybe you can add that to your list in the near future!

    • Gina Davis says:

      There are several scholarships available. Google Bermuda Scholarships and I am certain, you will find something for your child. One of the reasons students don’t get any, is because they do not apply. There is a directory. There are many types.

  10. frank says:

    this guy is a snake send him cracking now

  11. Batty Tramp says:

    Perhaps Mr Heatley has seen how disorganized Bermuda is. Perhaps he’s seen how we thrive on inaction. Perhaps he’s seen how unreasonably entitled Bermudians are. One can hardly blame the man for not leaving all his eggs in one basket.

    Bermudians need to get over themselves. We are not that special and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we may start on the road to recovery.

    Yes I expect replies from Bermudians who think they are better than normal people. Guess what? You aren’t.

    • inna says:

      And guess what? You arent any better than anyone else either, so get over it!

      • Batty Tramp says:

        You are correct. The only difference is I know it. Do you?

        And I am ‘over it’. I was never otherwise.

        Bermudians need to get a grip.

  12. HeyBye says:

    He must have spoken to his U.S. Tax accountant,they probably advised him to keep the Bda job.He will come out ahead,with his foreign earned tax exclusion on the first $97,600 compared to the taxes he would have to pay on his full wage,working in the U.S.

    Back tracking now.

  13. It's ok.. says:

    You can’t judge him for his decisions on employment no more than he can judge you for your decisions. If he’s done his best during his tenure, that’s what matters. We are only in a particular place for a season , a time, a moment. Live with it…

  14. Wake up says:

    Everyone asking how committed is he to our children,well being in the school system I would like to know how committed are the parents? The Education system should not be raising your children, all the behavior issues, lack of discipline etc that cut into class time get hurled at the Education system and everyone wants the mixture thrown at us to produce wonderful cupcakes. The parents have the ingredients give the system something to work with. Its a collaborative effort. Some people in the system are out to lunch but there are also some who would go to their grave trying to reach otherwise, menaces to society.

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Wake up
      I do not think your post directly addresses the issue but you are correct. Where is the commitment to public education for the parents, government, the Minister and the Permanent Secretary?

  15. nuffin but the truth says:

    you are NOT wanted here!
    you NEVER was wanted here!
    there are qualified Bermudians that can teach our Children
    We DONT want an American attempting to teach our children.


  16. Mr. Meoff says:

    Hey NUFFIN,
    I would say that your education didnt take you too far as it appears that you my friend, are not able to speak or write correct English.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Jack, you should really be careful to make sure your own post is perfect before denouncing someone else’s writing…

    • nuffin but the truth says:

      I DON’T care what the likes of you think or say!

  17. Wondering Why says:

    When I first heard about this, my initial reaction was also one of “get cracking.” Now I can’t help but have a measure of sympathy for the man. I’m sure it was no picnic working at the department, especially for a man that demands and expects results. Bermudians hate and resist change, even if it’s for their own good. One only has to read comments here to see how ignorant and close-minded some can be.

  18. Terry says:

    Starting Point is spot on.
    We have addressed this on another page.
    I am sure he is making good monies in Bermuda but his new job (if he gets it) will set him up for life in Weezeeanna.
    Minimum $150,000 a year. Medical for life, pension, lower taxes there and all the perks.

    Too expensive for him to stay on in Bermuda plus he still has to pay taxes whilst employed here.

    Always looking to better ones self is great but enjoying the fun and sun and conch stew and dark and stormies is a great change.

    Now back to Weezeeanna ann sum shreemp and gumbo.

  19. Navin Johnson says:

    Honorable thing to do would be leave..begin another search…not to be trusted

  20. Chris Famous says:

    “I can confirm that I am a finalist in a superintendent search in Orleans Parish”


    “I Am Committed To Bermuda Students”

    This guy is an educator, yet does not know how to put forth a convincing press release.

  21. Bob Barker says:

    Bermuda Union response makes them sound like a bunch of whining teachers, as usual: “tough work…More acutely, there has been an avalanche of changes in curriculum, policies, and initiatives, but our committed Teachers have soldiered on and continue to perform at the highest level imaginable. For this extraordinary display of visible perseverance, our Teachers deserve 1000 Cheers!”

    And why was “Teachers” and “Cheers” capitalized? Shows their complete inability to teach if they can’t write a proper press release.

    Probably ‘qualified Bermudians’ that wrote it!

  22. Skeptic says:

    Dr. Heatley, as a consequence of your actions,my you have now made yourself irrelevant to to the management of the Ministry of Education. The natural reaction of most staff, and other stakeholders, to your likely departure is to dilute the importance and significance of anything you do from now on. Did you not perform proper due diligence on Bermuda to realize that you had a challenging mandate ahead of you, or had you always intended Bermuda to be a short stop over on the way to something grander?

    • Wondering Why says:

      I don’t think that’s the case. This gentleman is obviously highly desired. I don’t see a man with his high credentials using Bermuda as a stopover. A slight blip wouldn’t look very good on his resume now would it? I believe his intentions were noble, but he quickly burnt out. Beautiful Bermuda is known to do that to people.

  23. Coffee says:

    A convincing argument never to release information regarding salaries ; I think ? A good lesson for the OBA , next time keep the salary of the next education czar a closely held secret for fear of poaching by others .

  24. Come On Man says:

    Yeah and Im commited to believing his Bull.