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Ernest Peets named chairman of Adult Education School

Ernest Peets, the new chairman of the board for the Adult Education School (Photograph supplied)

The Adult Education School in Hamilton is to undergo a reshaping with Ernest Peets as the new chairman of its board, the school announced.

Dr Peets, the former Government Senate Leader and Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, takes over from Gerald Simons, who has chaired the board since 2015.

The alternative school, based on Dundonald Street, said Dr Peets came with a lengthy career background in tackling social issues in Bermuda as a counsellor and mental health professional.

He served in the Progressive Labour Party Cabinet from November, 2020 to November, 2022.

Under the leadership of managing director Arlene Brock and director of programming Thaao Dill, the Adult Education School is undergoing a “reimagining intended to support and inspire anyone in need of education”.

The school will include teenagers who have “disengaged from traditional academic environments, working adults who want more from their lives, and service providers who require more resources and support for their clients”.

Dr Peets said he was excited to join the school at a “critical stage in its evolution”.

“The school has an impressive history and since its inception it has helped many Bermudians achieve their educational and career goals,” he added. “I thoroughly believe in its reimagined vision for its students and the community. I’m glad to support and serve the Board in the capacity as chair.”

Mr Simons said his leadership at the school over the past seven years had been “an honour and a rewarding experience”.

He added: “Over the past six decades, the school has served the Bermudian community with great dignity and has successfully helped thousands of people improve their lives through education and personal development.

“I wish the new leadership every success in continuing its vital work for many years to come as it implements its exciting new reimagined vision.”

The AES, formed in 1958, suspended services at the end of the 2020-21 school year while the Board led a comprehensive feasibility study of adult education needs in Bermuda.

The study, which was assisted by consultants and community volunteers, showed “a clear and urgent need for widespread improvements across the island”.

The AES accordingly resumed GED tutorials with a small pilot programme in August 2022.

It also introduced customised pathway coordination designed to meet the specific needs of each learner.

GED preparation was expanded this January with the hiring of more tutors.

The school is now set to introduce further programming in line with the findings of the feasibility study.

Its first wave of enrichment courses, designed to help community members meet the demands of today’s Bermuda, is taking place this month, with details to be announced.

Further programming to come will involve vocational skills training, and college and career readiness preparation.

Dr Peets said: “Given the complex needs of our current and future workforce, the Adult Education School has a unique role to play in regards to education and training.

“A strong and vibrant Adult Education School is a critical pillar in ensuring all learners have a pathway to success.

“Covid-19 was a difficult period for everyone, especially charities. I will be working closely with the Board and our managing director in building our donor relationships and establishing new strategic relationships with stakeholders as the school grows.”

Ms Brock said: “Everyone at the Adult Education School is excited to work alongside Dr Peets as we strive to support the many people in our community who require assistance with education and life skills.

“His vast experience and expertise in tackling Bermuda's social needs will be a huge asset to us.

“I’d also like to thank Mr Simons for his chairmanship of the school, particularly during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout the launch of our reimagining.

“This is not a goodbye. While we all wish Mr Simons the best in his future endeavours, we know he will continue to support our progress.”

To learn more, call or WhatsApp Thaao Dill on 705-6677 or e-mail aesbda@gmail.com

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Published February 11, 2023 at 7:54 am (Updated February 11, 2023 at 7:54 am)

Ernest Peets named chairman of Adult Education School

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