Deputy becomes heir apparent for JGHS top job

| 09/03/2011

(CNS): The Department of Education Services has announced the appointment of Lyneth Monteith as Acting Principal of the John Gray High School. Montieth is currently one of the schools deputies and her appointment is in preparation for the departure of the current head, Aldin Bellinfantie, who completes his secondment at the end of this school year. Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler explained that the move offers an early start on an important leadership transition for the school, which is facing numerous challenges. “If we begin the transition now, we will be able to ensure we have a strong, sustainable and effective leadership team in place to take the school through the next phase of its development,” she said.

Monteith is a very experienced Caymanian educator who has had the benefit of whole-campus management experience at the George Hicks Middle School. She is also a former school leader, senior tutor and head of department at George Hicks. Her formal qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in educational leadership. Monteith assumed her new role on Monday.

“I am both humbled and excited about this new leadership opportunity,” she said. “John Gray has many long standing challenges, but it also has many talented and committed teachers and managers. If I can harness and focus our strengths, we will achieve the excellence of which we are capable. My motto to staff is simple: Together we can.”

Wahler said that when students return to school on Monday, 14 March, after the short break, Monteith and her team will be talking to them about setting higher standards.

“We are asking our parents to encourage their children to work with their teachers to help make the school a better learning environment. And also to remind them that education matters and that rules are in place to give them the best possibility for success,” Wahler added. She emphasized the importance of all stakeholders playing their part in the future development of John Gray. She stressed the critical role of parents, and acknowledged the advice and support of the John Gray HSA president and executive.

“Parents and guardians will continue to play a very important role in helping John Gray become the excellent school we know it can be,” stated Wahler.

Bellinfantie, who was seconded from Jamaica’s Ministry of Education in January 2010 to take up the post of John Gray Principal, will finish his term in August. During the transition he will help the DES develop policies that will support improvements in the school’s operation going forward.

“We thank Mr Bellinfantie for his contributions during his time with us, and for accepting the challenge of leadership in a time of change. We are looking forward to his support in the next few months, and wish him all the best on his return to continue his work within the Jamaican education system,” she added.

Education Minister Rolston Anglin said he was delighted that Monteith had accepted the challenge. “She brings to her new role considerable leadership experience, which will provide continuity and stability for the school,” he said. “She will have the support of the DES and ministry, as she works to move John Gray further forward. In the end, there can be no success for the school without the success of our children. If we work together, focusing on that single goal, we cannot fail.”

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  1. Suzette says:

    Congrats Lyn!!!

  2. Town Cryer says:

    Congrats Lyneth Maybe now with your appointment, the other senior managers who were coasting with there 10 -12 sessions per week, while other teachers struggle with 23/24 sessions will actually be asked to do some work for the salary that they are being paid. They are being paid to do a job and not on vacation after all. XXX

  3. Anonymous says:

     Congratulations.  I agree with post 7:28, nothing against Lynneth, however, was there any considerationg granted to any other  pool of senior persons.  Was there a level playing field at least given others to apply?  I have known other persons who were qualified to get this post and didn’t.  Is this political? I begin to wonder cause of knowldege of what goes on in the Edu system.

    Nevertheless, I hope this post is upheld with some great "attitude" and graceful personality.   All the best.

    • Anonymous says:


      Not sure I understand what you are saying when you said;
       “I have known other persons who were qualified to get this post and didn’t". I am yet to see anyone in these islands more qualified than Ms. Monteith at this time for the post of principal at JGHS. There is no sense advertising unless there is a plan to get a next overseas person. You can’t take people off the streets and turn them into educators overnight (a school principal at that). We said the same thing about Mr. Roy Bodden at UCCI.  If this was a political move then politics is good after all. Great job Minister and CEO congrats Ms. Monteith
      • Anonymous says:

        Congratulations!! Ms. Monteith – You are understanding of the Caymanian way of Life that you have been a part of – with your extensive knowledge, you have worked hard and achieved the position well deserved. My daughter is 33 years old and you were a mentor to her and many others throught their teenage life, administering good morals and excellent leadership. Good luck in your new position.

  4. Mindy says:

    Well done Lyneth! We are proud of you. Hard work and perseverance does eventually pay off. I was beginning to lose hope.  

  5. P says:

    Congratulations Ms. Monteith. You were a great teacher/ netball coach while I was in school.

    Position well deserved!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I applaud the appointment of Ms. Monteith as Acting Pricipal of JGHS. She has worked in the education system for a very lengthy time in several varying posts which equips her with the knowledge & experience of what truly goes on in the school system.

    However, I think this appointment could have happened over a year ago when the Education Minister brought Mr.Aldin Bellinfantie over from Jamaica. At that time the minister raved of how Mr. Belleinfantie was the right representative to take on JGHS and make significant changes. Well we are a year later, no reports have been made to the public of Mr. Bellinfanties accomplishments and it seems that he is leaving very quietly. Once again, another foreignor brought in to save the day, big pay check, moving allowances provided etc. etc. and the job will still need to get done by a qualified Caymanian!

     Well Done Ms. Monteith!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mrs Monteith sounds like a good choice but was the position advertised and interviewed for as is suppose to happen nowadays? There are several other Caymanians in senior positions who would have liked the opportunity of applying.

    • Just thinking says:

      I am confused with the Civil service. On one hand, they talk about succession planning and then it is stated that every position has to be advertised in order to give another qualified individual outside the workplace the opportunity to apply. So how are they implementing succession planning? I thought succession planning meant that you are already in the workplace and you are basically being groomed for a position. An individual already in the job may have the qualifications but are perhaps lacking in some other areas such as experience, management qualities etc. 

      It would be a slap in Ms. Montieth’s face for them to bring someone else in now or later. She is well qualified for this job. She has certainly been in the system long enough and in several different positions to have a broad grasp of the system and how to manage it. Well done Lynette. We, Caymanians are standing proud and tall at this appointment. Albeit it is only acting but we are hoping this is a formality and will eventually be permanent. Congratulations and all the best. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The term succession planning is a term of the 90s and one that Mr McKeeva Bush the Premier advocated if i remember well. However, last three years the tide has turned and there has been no talk or action for ” succession planning”. I am not sure if Caymanians noticed that 90% of the senior positions have gone to your colonial leaders form up north. Last year was worst when you had a number of qulaified Caymanians and other long sevice residents who have worked through challenging times yet they did not getthe jobs.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon 6:48: I bet you cannot substantiate that claim about 90% of senior positions going to colonial masters blah blah blah. Go ahead. If you don’t want to name names, name positions.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congrats but is the new principal willing to engage and try creative approaches to get more parental involvement or will it be verbal pronouncements asking for parental involvement. The movie Lean on Me should provide good guidance on the difference a far reaching principal can have in changing student performance,

  9. Sally says:

    Congratulations, Lyneth!  I’ve every confidence in your continued


  10. Ray says:

    Congratulations & well done. This alone can show students that education & effort pays off once it is given time to develop. I hope that the parents, at all levels, take up the motto because, without it, their children are in for a rough future.