Video: Richards Named Acting Commissioner

December 7, 2017 | 10 Comments

[Updated] Kalmar Richards will be the Acting Commissioner of Education, Minister of Education & Workforce Development Diallo Rabain announced at a press conference this morning [Dec 7], saying that she will begin on Monday, December 11th.

Mrs Richards, a veteran educator who served as the Principal of CedarBridge Academy, replaces Dr Freddie Evans, with the circumstances surrounding Dr Evans’ leaving the position becoming the subject of legal action.

The press conference has just concluded and we will have additional information later on, and in the meantime the 11-minute live video replay is below.

“Mrs. Kalmar Richards has been asked to act, in this interim period, as Commissioner of Education. I pleased to learn that she willingly accepted and will start on Monday, December 11th,” the Minister said.

“Mrs. Richards is no stranger to us or to our community. For the past 20 years she has provided exemplary leadership and stewardship as principal at Cedarbridge Academy.

“We are very appreciative that she has agreed to this assignment. I look forward to working with Mrs. Richards as she steps in to lead and support the exciting developments taking place in public education.

“Mrs. Richards will serve in the position until a new Commissioner of Education is hired. The next step will be for the Board of Education to begin the search for a suitable candidate. The Board of Education is responsible for advertising, interviewing and selecting of a candidate for referral to the Public Service Commission for final approval.”

 Update 11.45am: The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good morning members of the media and thank you coming

In recent weeks, I’ve received numerous questions surrounding the vacant position of Commissioner of Education and as I’ve repeatedly stated, as the Minister responsible for Education, operational and personnel placements are not under my direct remit.

What I can do is assure students, parents, teachers, staff and principals that the Department of Education is in every school, on any given day, providing our students with quality teaching and instruction.

As I make this assurance, I do so knowing that while the position of Commissioner has been vacant… the work has continued. The Ministry and the Department, as well school Principals and administrators are making sure all educational requirements are met, and the work is progressing as set out at the commencement of the school year.

To assist with the progress that is happening in our schools, Mrs. Kalmar Richards has been asked to act, in this interim period, as Commissioner of Education. I pleased to learn that she willingly accepted and will start on Monday, December 11th.

Mrs. Richards is no stranger to us or to our community. For the past 20 years she has provided exemplary leadership and stewardship as principal at Cedarbridge Academy.

Mrs. Richards is respected by her peers, parents and students and known as caring and firm. She is a leader that believes in change and making a positive impact in our community. We are very appreciative that she has agreed to this assignment. I look forward to working with Mrs. Richards as she steps in to lead and support the exciting developments taking place in public education.

Mrs. Richards will serve in the position until a new Commissioner of Education is hired. The next step will be for the Board of Education to begin the search for a suitable candidate. The Board of Education is responsible for advertising, interviewing and selecting of a candidate for referral to the Public Service Commission for final approval.

As I announced last week the Ministry, the Department and the Board of Education have completed the community driven multi-year strategic Plan 2022 which is available for public review on our website. This is extremely focused report with benchmarks and measurable outcomes. Implementation will begin in January 2018. Plan 2022 was led by Lisa Smith and a team at the Department of Education. Mrs. Smith was seconded to the Department from Harrington Sound Primary School in 2016 and will continue to lead the implementation of the Plan 2022, along with the Acting Commissioner and Department of Education team.

As I stated in Parliament last week, this Plan will not sit on the shelf. It will be implemented because we are accountable to our students and to all those who supported the design and drafting of Plan 2022. We received such positive and honest input from community groups, churches, former educators, current teachers, union stakeholders, parents and students. We are accountable to all those who helped us get here, we all have a stake in this. The Department of Education is ready to begin the implementation and I am pleased to learn that steps are being taken and recruitment has begun to have all the necessary staff in place to carry out the objectives set forth in Plan 2022.

Before I take your questions, I’d like to take the opportunity to once again thank the Ministry and Department of Education for staying the course and working every day to give our students the very best education. We have some exciting developments happening and major individual and collective accomplishments. We will keep the momentum going and it will continue.

Thank you

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Comments (10)

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  1. Sharmaine L says:

    I am so very proud of my former principal! Mrs. Richards is more than worthy of this position and I have genuine faith that she will do great things for education in her new role. She has always been an exemplary leader and motivator and sincerely cares about Bermuda’s students and the level of education we are receiving particularly within the public sector. She is BIG TIME and forever a Leader of EXCELLENCE :)

  2. Sook says:

    My former French Teacher at THE Berkeley Institute many many years ago. An excellent pick. Well done Madame Richards.

    Respice Finem……..

  3. HW says:

    I have never met Mrs. Richards personally. But I’ve lost count of the number of people- from all walks of life- who have shared incredibly positive things about her as a leader and educator. By all accounts she is more than capable of fulfilling this role on a FULLTIME basis should she desire to, and not just on an interim basis. She seems to possess not only the necessary credentials but also the necessary intangibles to take on such a monumental task.

    I look forward to seeing positive changes in public education under her leadership. But let’s make no mistake: she will need a lot of support from those under her leadership and those in Government.

    Finally we as a community need to support our public school system also. It can no longer be a political football. I don’t even have kids, but I work with them regularly and it truly is going to take a community effort to help our young people fulfill their great- but often unrealized- potential.

  4. watching says:

    Mrs. Richards will do wonderfully in this role.

  5. Rocky5 says:

    Please stop all the waffling & confirm Mrs. Richards as Commissioner ASAP. As Acting Commissioner she will have no real power to make real improvements as most of the other Civil Servants will just remind her what happened to her predecessor

  6. Rocky5 says:

    BOARD OF EDUCATION
    Education Act 1996
    Chairman – Mr. Curtis Dickinson
    Deputy Chairman – Mr. Lorren Wilson
    Dr. Leonard Santucci
    Mr. Charles Joynes
    Mr. Craig Bridgewater
    Mr. Jason Wade
    Mr. Richard Smith
    Mrs. Marlene Warren
    Mrs. Carol N. Bassett
    Mrs. Renee Lawrence
    Ms. Jo-Ann Pulley
    Ms. Tamicia Darrell
    Pastor Terence Stovell
    Mrs. Ru-Zelda Severin
    Commissioner of Education, ex officio
    Dr. Duranda Greene, ex officio

  7. Carole Figueiredo says:

    There could not be a better person in this position. Way to go Kalmar.
    Awesome choice.

  8. Chardala S. says:

    My question is why can’t Mrs. Richards be the permanent Commissioner of Education? She is my former principal and always preached excellence. She lives it as well.

  9. geeeez says:

    acting again….give somebody the job please…..she will act until someone in the dept. dislikes her then on to the next actor !

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