Maybe some introductions are in order.
Left to Right: Dale Graves, Maggie Tench, Frank Tench, Darcel Murray, Gershom Rodriguez, Candi Young.
Let me tell you a little about each one:
Dale Graves: (me) An old guy who volunteered to be the interim director for one year and then for a second year. My term as a field staff member is over following some visits with yearly meetings this summer. At the time of this writing a replacement has not been found. I have volunteered to come down in October if needed.
Maggie Tench: Ms Maggie is our secretary/bookkeeper. She is smart and dedicated. Her contract hours are from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm but I can’t remember the last time she left at 1:00. She and Ms Candi did all the major planning for the successful alumni gala. She has made good use of her contacts in the community.
Frank Tench: School board president. Mr Tench is a retired meteorologist here in Belize, and local TV weatherman. When we decided to do an adult school pilot program and advertised for a speaker we received no applications. Mr Tench expressed interest and taught the adult classes this spring. We have hired him to teach again in the fall.
Darcel Murray: Ms Darcel has completed her second year of teaching. We enrolled 33 students this year, the largest enrollment in recent years, completing the year with an active enrollment of 26 (last year we finished the year with 20). Ms.Darcel was with them all day long, teaching students who range from completely ready for high school to students who cannot read. She was wonderful. She was also in an impossible situation with this many students.
Gersom Rodriguez: We just hired Gershom to be on staff beginning August 1. He has taught elementary school for two years. He and Darcel have had a couple of good conversations about teaching methods and discipline concepts. Gershom has a full Primary School teaching license. He has a couple of obvious attributes as you can see from the photo: he is big and he is a man. I don’t mean that to be sexist, it’s just really helpful for our students to see a good Belizean male role model day after day. In addition he is excited to be a part of our program. He grew up about a block and a half from the school and knows exactly what he is getting himself into.
Candi Young: This is the second year that Ms Candi has served as the principal of the school. She and Ms Darcel are both students at Galen University working on their Bachelors in Primary Education. They will complete their degrees in December 2018. Ms Candi continues to learn all the things that go into being a principal. I have involved her in all of the work of expansion of the program so she knows how to do some of the work if we do not find a director very soon. Many of you know Ms Canid personally.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this staff work together.