Heatley — ‘I’m committed to Bermuda education’
Education Commissioner Edmond Heatley has declared his commitment to the Island's students and educational reform — but apologised for the publicity over his application for a post back in the US.
And he did not explicitly state that he wouldn't accept the position of school superintendent in Louisiana.
“I can confirm that I am a finalist in a superintendent search in Orleans Parish,” Dr Heatley said in a statement issued this afternoon, after a press conference was called off.
Saying he felt the need to apologise for media coverage in recent days, the Commissioner said it was “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”.
Government was heavily criticised following Dr Heatley's appointment in August of last year after Bermudian Wendy McDonell stepped down.
Former Permanent Secretary Warren Jones told critics to “get over it” after repeated complaints that local candidates had been passed over.
Sweeping changes were subsequently implemented in the Ministry, including Mr Jones's resignation, to which Dr Heatley alluded in his statement.
“Back in December, when I allowed my resume to be put forward, there were a number of major, and from my perspective, unsettling changes within the Ministry,” he said.
“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.”
Dr Heatley said he hadn't made a “proactive search” for the job, adding: “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.”