Video: Dr. Heatley “Can Get The Job Done”

August 30, 2013

Speaking at a press conference yesterday [Aug 29], Education Permanent Secretary Warren Jones discussed the appointment of Dr. Edmond Heatley, saying he is “quite confident he can get the job done.”

Earlier this week Dr. Heatley, an American, was named the new Commissioner of Education after being selected from some 70 applicants.

Mr Jones gave wide ranging remarks about Dr Heatley’s appointment spanning the reaction from the public, the qualifications needed for the position, news reports from overseas and more.

“What is this really about”, said Mr Jones. “As it’s certainly not about Dr Heatley. Because it would not have mattered who the person was, as long as it was not a Bermudian this is what we would have.

“In my view, it’s a small group of disgruntled applicants twisting the facts to stir public emotion around Bermudian-isation. Articles about Dr Heatley just assisted and gave them a vehicle to use.”

Various reports from the United States spoke about controversies during Dr Heatley’s time in the US, with topics ranging from his family members being on the payroll to his “tough management style.”

Mr Jones said, “We have to base decisions on fact. The fact that they have written a story that he resigned, they don’t know the background. The fact that he stopped bus service..some of the stories…what were the facts.

“And if his decision is based on, let’s use an example, if his decision is based on information or actions that the Board required of him, and then the Board no longer supported him when the noise was made, as an example, he is where he is,” said Mr Jones.

Dr Heatley has a Bachelor’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern Illinois University, a Master of Science degree from Old Dominion University, and a Doctorate of Education in Administration and Leadership at the University of Southern California.

He began his career in public education as a classroom teacher in the Virginia Public Schools teaching students with disabilities in 1996. He traveled to California where he spent 11 years, and in 2009 he became the Superintendent and CEO of Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia.

The 30 minute video of Mr Jones full comments and Q&A is below:

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  1. ABM says:

    This is just dumb.

    • Mazumbo says:

      Something’s wrong with this picture! The Minister of Education who is getting paid over $100,000 a year is standing like a manikin and a civil servant who is under him answering the questions that are for the Minister! So what are we paying the Minister for? I was not pleased with some things the PLP did but OBA is a JOKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mazumbo says:

        Real puppets for the Oligarchy!!! LMAO

      • Kim Smith says:

        This man was hired by a Selection Committee under the former government, the PLP, not by the OBA.

  2. Young Professional says:

    This Minister right here…smh…we want facts on what Dr. Heatley has improved!!! We don’t want a fellow that has degrees, if this was the case we could have chosen from numerous Bermudians.

    The public wants the best education, and it only is fitting that in order to get the best, we should choose from the best, and American Education is NOT the best. Furthermore, the states (CA, GA, IL) where he studied aren’t in the top 5 education ranking of the 50 states! They are on the bottom half for high school graduation rates!!

    What has Dr. Heatley done in his professional career which demonstrates that he has raised the quality of teaching and learning in a public school system so that it becomes the #1 choice for parents.

    What experience does Dr. Heatley have that demonstrate that he can get the recommendations from the Hopkins and Blueprint for Education completed.

    Stop giving the public appetizers and get to the meat please!!

    • Amazed says:

      You are absolutely correct where is the list of previous accomplishments so we can see for ourselves!

  3. Vote for Me says:

    A couple of points
    1 – Is Mr. Jones in a position to share teh facts of the negative stories with the public?
    2 – Did the hiring body confirm the facts if as Mr. Jones asserts the Boards that Dr. Heatly did not support his actions after the fact?
    3 – if Mr. Jones is aware of the disgruntled Bermudian applicants, has he reprimanded them on the assumption that they are senior education officers?
    4 – If Mr. Brown is correct about the disgruntled applicants, what will be done to make sure they do not frustrate Dr. Heatly’s efforts to improve education?
    5 – If Mr. Jones is correct about the disgruntled applicants, will they still be considered to be a possible successor to Dr. Heatly?
    6 – Can Mr. Jones explain what went wrong with the succession plan for Mrs MacDonald since the Ministry must have known her retirement date at least 5 years ago?
    7 – since the Board of Education hired Mr. Heatly, is Mr. Jones speaking on behalf of the Board, the Minister or the Department of Education?

    I am also surprised the Mr. Jones responded in this manner. Civil Servants generally do not take such a position.

  4. Oh No says:

    Seriously though, what is the differences between the Commissioner of Education, Permanent Secretary of Education, Director of Education and Learning ??? These are all titles up at the EDU ministry…along with numerous other “big titles” up there dealing with education. Too much TOP HEAVY people up there, if there should be any cuts…it should be cuts starting from the TOP.

  5. Oh No says:

    After watching that entire press conference, I would like to THANK Mr. Jones for his open, honest and frank conversation about this appointment to the Bermuda public, Thank you!

    Now some of those names Lavern mentioned…let me tell you, I’m happy to not see them in the top post…you know why? because I think some of their ATTITUDES STINK! nah, don’t let me get started…

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Oh No – what names are you referring to that Lavern mentioned? And who is Lavern?

  6. Ghost Rider says:

    is this American trouble causer still here?

    he NOT wanted if he is

  7. randy pitcher says:

    Yes but will he? The public education system does not seem to have improved since 1966 when I passed out of it. Went to California to go to university and discovered that I’d acquired a 10th grade education. So I signed up at the local high school for a year and discovered that all the students my age were graduation with grade 12… how could this be? They started school at 5, same as I did, but that is about all I had in common with their education. I wish the new Director the very best of luck and look forward to a year hence when we will surely see positive results, or will we?

  8. Oh Yes says:

    I feel Mr Jones is absolutely correct. I feel that we must put the students’ well-being ahead of anyone just seeking “top dollar & prestige”. There’s been too much of that for far too long in this island; while generationS of bermudians have fallen through the cracks. The private schools should be the measuring stick; as a start.

  9. Plato says:

    Lol this is hilarious public school will never be improved, Public school is a mechanism of classism, you cant have everyone graduating with “degrees” because that is how the upper class justifies, secures its privileged positions in society, public school will forever be creating undereducated individuals to occupy the labor positions in society, this is how the system works.

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Plato
      I am not sure if you are being serious but you raise an intereting point about classism. I wonder how many of the senior officers (and teachers for that matter) have their children in public education – you can probably add Ministers also.

      If I remember correctly, there has been a recent clammer for everyone at the Ministry to be a ‘Doctor’ which does initiate an element of classism. After all, if you are not a doctor (of whatever quality), who are you? seems to be that attitude.

      Bermuda needs to get serious about its one major resource and that is our children. For once we need to have ‘all guns blazing for education’ and move forward.

      I must also say that Dr. Heatly has not had a good start. It would be nice if the Ministry provided the real facts (as indicated by Mr. Jones at the news conference) about the various oversease news articles to bring some comfort to our children. Believe it or not, agree or not – they will be negatively impacted by all the recent public comments about the ‘new man in charge’.

  10. Winnie Dread says:

    This might be just the person Bermuda needs to turn this thing around especially from the middle schools up, a person who knows no one here (no favoritisim)has guts and balls (been lacking by too many)…. If this ia all about Bermudiansation for it’s sake only then we are failing the most important piece of this puzzle the KIDS does anyone remember them, this is all about the KIDS nothng else or should be….. Dr. Heathley you have my full support sir because if we bicker and CONTINUE on the same course, oh well I shudder to think what the future holds…. It is time people start putting this damm country before any other agenda they might be endorsing. It’s all about the KIDS and no one seems to remember that. PS Jones, real man….

  11. Honestly says:

    Not to mention the “Friends and Family” plan. He needs to be accountable for hiring practices.

  12. walker says:


  13. Alternative Universe says:

    First of all, the Minister should have taken the lead in this press conference. Second of all, Warren Jones apparently has a habit of overstepping his authority, first with the Commissioner of Education and now the Minister of Education, who should not have deferred comments to Jones in the first place since he is a civil servant.

    Jones is incorrect in his statement that he is responsible for personnel issues, quoting the old Education Act and not the amended one (2008). He is counting on the ignorance and trust of the public so everyone out there needs to educate themselves on policy and the law.

    Knowledge is power and no one, especially those drunk with power should try to dismiss, devalue or minimize facts that you have discovered through a process of due diligence that this Ministry has failed to practice.

    Mr. Brangman, step up and lead. Mr. Jones, go back and read.

  14. IneedaJOB says:

    Para Educator seeking a job. Please help tired of all this bickering. Single mother here trying to find work. I have sent my resume overseas and the only thing that stops me from getting a job overseas is because I am BERMUDIAN, and I can’t even find a job here. Something wrong with this picture.