Monday , February 26 2024

Opinion: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Dear Editor,

There is an age old expression that actions speak louder than words.  The illustrious school board was slapped in the face today by the returning teachers.  Before, I get to the point you need to know that the board accused the former director Mr. Hemmie van Xanten, of having no control over the teachers. It is unclear how they arrived at this conclusion.  They, the board, did not ask the teachers. They did not stand on a street corner, to my knowledge, asking people to complete a short survey.  No, they decided one day that it was true and it became true in their universe where all laws that applies to nature are suspended.

Back in June 2014, prior to school closing, the board told the former director through their flunky staffunctionaris to inform all teachers that they were to be at school on August 11 at 8 am.  That message went in one ear and out the other because we know that at least two teachers possibly more were not here.  When I say not here, I mean not on island.

That’s what happens when you the board treat people disrespectfully.  You get treated in the same way because it’s obvious that many of the teachers don’t give a rat’s ass what the board says.

You are familiar with the other expression, what goes around comes around because while it is unclear if the former director had control over the teachers one thing is certain, this board definitely has no control over them.

Friends of Parents at SCS

Opinion: “I think communication was obviously lacking."
Opinion: “Costly error?”


  1. It’s terrible that they’re only sinking deeper into their own mess and dragging the school that we build so hardworking and lovingly with them. I honestly hoped that they would have stepped back during the summer in silence and that even though they destroyed the harvest, new crops would get a chance to grow.

  2. The board continues to trample the field…

  3. Another concerned parent

    I told you already that they rule according to their liking. Parents nor students nor teachers concerns are immortent to them. As long as the outside looks shiny and policed. In the meantime it it the local admin staff who is saving their asses by doing the utmost to get everything in place. No credit to board or management team.

    The school should be ashamed of themselves knowing the situation they are in and Mr. Nolly Oleana should be the biggest culprit in this since he brought this trio to this actual moment, knowing better, but it feels so good to get the attention of others, especially women. Come on Nollly you should so much better!!!!

  4. Another concerned parent

    Forgot to mention the fact that it is customary that before the school year starts, all staff members (including new ones) are introduced by the school board to parents and others. At present the staff members themselves do not know who will they be working with this school year. Isn’t it a crying shame that on other islands introduction meetings are held already while on Saba we face a situation where the board themselves do not know what to do or to say since their “eye and ear” investigator is momentarily in Aruba.

    It is the student’s right to know before school starts which teachers they will get and how the timetable will look like. The proposed holiday schedule for 2014 -2015 in June by both schools has not been adapted by this board as yet. They would present this to all teachers today, 11th of August. But that is only possible when all your staff is present. Apparently, the staff feels no responsibility to the board and just do their own thing. For me a conclusion that the three degrees have no control and no say about these teachers. Sorry to say, but Mr. Hemmie van Xanten did have that control, executed in a professional and personal manner, something which all of you three are lacking.

  5. I am a teacher at SCS and can only speak for myself.
    I was one of those teachers not on the island, but I would like to clarify that this was beyond my control and was not in defiance of said school board. Personally, my flight was booked to return to the island over a week ago, however OCW changed our vacation schedule during the last week of school; extending our summer vacation by a week and shortening our Christmas vacation from 3 weeks to two (this aligned with the other BES islands). Because of this, I changed my flight to spend additional time with my family, however, as my flight had already been booked and paid for months ago, I was ONLY able to fly with the same airline (which only flies twice a week) back to St. Maarten.
    Due to the last minute holiday change and lateness of the hour, the flight on the Sunday was fully booked, therefore I am flying out on Tuesday. The reason I state this in a public forum is that perhaps we should be looking at the circumstances; not jumping to conclusions that if a teacher is not on the island on time, that it is an automatic slight against the school board.
    I have been vocal about my dissatisfaction about decisions that were made in June regarding 7 teaching staff either not having their contracts renewed or handed in their notice in support of their colleagues. I have never backed down from having an open discussion with the board , nor will I in the future if I feel it is required.
    However, we are professionals, and if myself and other teachers are late to arrive on the island, it is due to circumstances beyond our control, NOT as a slap in the face of the school board. It is a new school year and we are here to work together in the best interest of the students. There has been enough upheaval and drama over the past few months, and personally, I find this article is jumping to conclusions to stir the pot.
    Moving forward, we ALL need to stick to the issues at hand and for the betterment of SCS! I look forward to seeing everyone upon my return tomorrow and can’t wait to see the kids that I have the good fortune and pleasure in teaching on a daily basis.

  6. Shame on you Mark!
    As a professional you should put your obligations towards your “clients” over your private pleasures. The people of Saba pay your salary.
    Be on Saba in time!!! If you expect trouble in traveling, take an earlier flight.
    You owe this to us!!!!

  7. Friends of Parents SCS

    Mark, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” applies.

  8. Let me start off by saying I am a friend of no one. However I am a bit confused alright fine some teachers and the principal did not get a renewal on their contracts, so what.
    This kinda thing happens even in Canada and the great US of A. What is the biggie???
    I thought that the concerns of all “parents” and the community at large was the further continual of the education on Saba. probably everyone’s concern was, “where the going to be new teachers and a principal to fill these not renewed positions” according to what I am hearing is that all positions have been filled. What do you plan on doing kicking new teachers them out of the classroom???

    Alright now I am even more confused, because I don’t get what all the FUSS is all about. If the education is continuing why are you complainers complaining about???

    Should you not be happy that come beginning school year there are teachers to teach our children???

    Now I am beginning to think that this is not about the “students” and their education, however it is a vendetta because the principal’s contract and a certain teacher’s has not been renewed!!!!

    I am also confused as to why if you thought you were treated unfairly and probably unlawful, how come you did not get a lawyer to defend your case!! I would have if I were you!!

    Is there not the ministry of education to fight for the rights of those who were unjustly treated? Come on people you should have fought this higher and not let parents who probably cannot fight their own battles fight on your behalf. There are lawyers and there are cane-field lawyers, you should have gotten a real lawyer instead.

    After a while eating gourmet food no longer tastes as good as it used to because you get tired of it. What I am trying to say is GET OVER IT and move on people are tired of hearing the same story, its stale now.

    In ending a note to complaining non Sabans: if you are vexed/upset/angry about how things run on Saba, remember you come from a country thousands of times bigger than Saba LEAVE Saba will do well without you!!!!!!!!!

  9. Another concerned parent

    Dear Jake,

    Your article shows me that you have no clue how Saba runs. You are most likely one of these characters who stay here for a few years and move on while Saba is and will be our home.
    If you feel sick and tired about this small door politics, please don’t read it or otherwise leave this unique place and go back to your great US of A. You have no idea what is going on, so please do not interfere in this matter.