Tuesday , March 28 2023

Letter of Non-Confidence in Saba Educational Foundation Board

This morning, August 27 2014 at 9:00 am at the RCN-building parents transferred a letter to Hans Kuilder, representant of the Dutch Ministry of Education a letter, signed by at least 100 other parents.

In this letter the parents made a clear statement that they had no confidence anymore in the board of the Saba Comprehensive School, which – by the way – is called the Saba Educational Foundation Board.

Although you will see smiling faces, it was very clear how upset the parents were and are about the situation in the Saba Comprehensive School. The fact alone that so many parents rejected the behaviour of the board, is – especially on Saba – very significant because speaking out in public and signing objections against an organisation is far from normal in the Saban context.

A meeting on Tuesday with approx. 10 parents was an emotional experience for the members of the VO-Council, Sjoerd Slagter and Wim Littooij.

On Wednesday the former director of the school and one of the teachers – representing the other teachers- the meeting was also revealing for the situation on Saba.

Although René Caderius van Veen has no relations with neither the parents nor the teachers nor the former director, had a discussion with the representants of the VO-Council. He mentioned the problems that Michiel Boeken, the director before Hemmie van Xanten, had experienced with the board. He stressed that it was exceptional that so many parents had signed the letter that the parents did not have any confidence anymore in the board, and he explained the problems that the Foundation Social Workplace (now Foundation Saba Reach) had to realise a cooperation between secondary education (The Comprehensive School) and Adult Education.

On this small island all expertise should be used as much as possible in the conception of not only the Adult Education but also in the view of representatives of the Ministry of Education like Nolly Oleana and the Education Inspection.

But despite of all that the board – and especially Raquel Granger – refused to cooperate, even though it was so obvious that this would be so beneficial for Saba.

Hereafter you may find – not as an attachment this time –  the complete letter, sent by the parents to the Ministry of Education, that has been handed over to Hans Kuilder this morning.


Letter of Non-Confidence 


August 23, 2014

Mr. Hans Kuilder OCW BES Director

Subject: No Confidence in Saba Educational Foundation Board

Dear Director Kuilder:

Based on recent developments at Saba Comprehensive School we, the parents of the students of SCS, family members of SCS students and/or concerned residents of Saba, are delivering this letter of no confidence in the Saba Educational Foundation Board to OCW. Our lack of confidence is based on the following items:

Lack of Teachers:
Five teachers and the Care Coordinator departed Saba Comprehensive School in June 2014. For the 2014 – 2015 school year, six teachers plus a Care Coordinator were recruited. The following subjects are missing teachers: Math, Art, Spanish, Business, Dutch, and Social Science.

The Dutch teacher is not expected to be here at the school until September or October. The exact date is unclear.

Missing Educational Hours:
The lack of teachers directly impacts students negatively. Depending on The Form, missing educational hours range between 30 – 47.5% of teaching hours per week. Form 4 & 5 Academic are severely impacted since these students are preparing for CXC examinations which requires a minimum of class room instruction time.

Qualification of Teachers:
The Board hired at least one unqualified teacher who lacks the appropriate teaching credentials.

Educational Materials:
Many of the books for the upcoming school year have not arrived for the first day of school as of August 18, 2014 and the exact arrival date is uncertain.

Educational Materials:
Many of the books for the upcoming school

Teachers Exceeding 28 hours of Instruction:
Because of the lack of teachers, one teacher has been assigned additional classes and now exceeds the 28 hours per week. In addition, the same teacher is now teaching 3 additional hours per week outside of the normal school hours in order to ensure that the students qualify to take the CXC and Dutch History examinations.

The Board Must Step Down:
The Saba Educational Foundation Board continues to misleading parents. On July 14, 2014, The Board guaranteed the parents that all teachers would be on island the week of August 11, 2014. Today, August 18, 2014, six subjects have no teachers. Many of the materials order for the school year are not here, as yet. Part of the agreement from the July 14, 2014, meeting was to provide an open house so that parents could meet and interact with all teachers. The open house announcement was placed on Facebook and scheduled on August 18, 2014, from noon – 1 pm which effectively excluded all working parents.

The request for transparency is dead.

The Board did not honor its agreements with the parents. The Board continues to act in an irresponsible manner. The Board’s dismissal of teachers and the director places our children’s education in jeopardy and it will not be tolerated.

The Board MUST step down and a new board selected by the parents to replace them within 2 days of receipt of this letter. If The Board doesn’t step down then we will start our own school.


(Note: Please see the attached signature pages)


Teachers in Holland to get cash and time off for training to boost standards
Man in Arnhem gets community service for discriminatory email


  1. Why this man all smiles? these ladies are serious and pour they hearts and souls into this for our kids. This was a vote against the board and OCW yet he grinning like a cat. Lets hope he know we on this island is serious about our kids academics and future

  2. René Caderius van Veen

    Dear Saffy, This was just a smile for the camera. The discussion was very serious from both sides and also the listening to the complaints was long and serious.

  3. All smiles was not really the case. I wish they could have captured the real look on his face when the letter and signatures were handed over.

    How many times does OCW and the SEF Board have to be hit over the head with a skillet? You would think that the outcry from students, teachers, parents and the general public before the end of the year would have been enough….but from what I hear OCW just took the old road of ‘Wait and See’. Well OCW, SEF Board and Chris Johnson you are now seeing the spoiled fruit of your making. Yes Chris Johnson according to VO-raad you could have stepped in at any time.

    It took a couple of months to gather all the data and the list of infractions to send to the Netherlands and the SEF board kept ignoring everyone and did as they pleased without regard to anyone except themselves. We should see an outcome of this investigation in a couple of weeks. (Yes this takes time as well).

    Not many parents realized the importance of the meeting with VO-raad because of the way it was presented. No one was really sure who, what, where and why and most parents just could not attend. Thank you Christalle and Janet for being a voice in the wilderness for Saba’s future.

  4. singing in the Rain

    I am with you all 100% and more, Kudos to you parents who will do what it takes for your child(ren) instead of some just voicing their negative opinions around this small island.

  5. All teachers are on the island and accounted for except the art teacher.

  6. Finally and how late is this 2 weeks but actually three cause that board lie and say all BES islands starting school on the 18th yet the rest started on the 11th. Another lie from that crooked barrel of snakes. No confidence is right and they need to be push off there perch right quick before they do anymore damage

  7. Now from another point of view. We all know that Satan uses his loudest fools to do his works, well if Saba don’t realize what is happening I say shame on all of you. For months now all we are hearing is from the loudest ones so give me a chance to give my opinion.
    We are hearing that in the meeting the board promised all teachers would be here on island but they weren’t. Did anyone take the time to ask the question why? Surely enough the VORaad did. Or you would hope they are smart enough to do so. From what I am hearing on the streets from the other, quieter side is that IND made a mess of things. If I were a parent I would ask for proof before following fools.
    Now the infamous book orders that seem to always be late. Now where does the blame lie here. If parents are smart enough they would ask for proof of when these were ordered. And by the way should these have not been ordered since last school year. Common sense would say yes but when reality is drowned out by loudness people tend not to see it. If these should have been ordered from last year was it not the responsibility of the teachers and director. If I were a parent once again I would ask for proof. Dates, time, emails etc. but yes not everyone wants to know the real truth now do they.
    Now as for the board stepping down. Now, the loud ones, as I call them, say these ladies are not qualified, however they want to be on the board. Now that is just an atrocity. That goes beyond having the pot call the kettle black. But you know what will happen, the parents, community and teachers who do have confidence in the board and who choose to remain quiet in this all, you will be the ones to suffer, you will be the ones to cry. For if these ladies get appointed to the school board, I do not even want to think of what will be the out come. But the day will come when the board says, “to hell with it!” And we all know that that is exactly what the loud ones want, but are you, the parents, the teachers, the community and especially, the VO Raad, Ministry do Education and OCW ready to deal with having incompetent and loud fools run your educational system. They talk and degrade others about their past but I ask you, what is their past and present for that matter. Is that what you want?
    SCS now has a new principle, new teachers and a new year ahead of them and the loud ones have said it time and time again that they will make the new teachers and principles life a living hell, they will do what it takes, they don’t like persons on the board personally, but are they crucified? Are they written up by the Saba news or such? The same way the VO Raad reads all from the loud set of parents I hope they read this also. And I hope that the comment will not be deleted by the person in charge of this site. I think it is high time that two sides are told and that a resolution is made. By continuing this fight we are teaching our children to fight with deceit, lies and corruption, because I don’t know what to call a parent having confidential documents from the school. We are not teaching our children to stand up for themselves in honesty here. We are teaching them how to fight dirty. I think it’s high time the Board uncovers the truth. I don’t know if that is legally possible but I think it would put a stop to this nonsense.

  8. First of all it was not the boards fault that the school started on the 18th of August it is the Ministry in Hollands fault..Second of all the Saba Comprehensive School is not the only school on Saba that started on the 18th. The Sacred Heart School also started on the 18th so clearly the board did not influence that. Thirdly the Sacred Heart School is missing not one but two teachers.Obviously there are people who have a personal vendetta against school board members. School is back to normal and the children are learning once again its time to end this name calling and bickering!

  9. It is about high time that someone speaks up!! Kudos to you. People start speaking up. Why are you letting other make decisions on your part. Why do you so openly trust ppl you should not. Teachers where are you. Why do you allow ppl to put you down and undervalue the hard work and dedication you have all put into that school. I am sick and tired of hearing that the old director made that school a happy place (with deceit and lies no less, if you know anything about that man). What happened to all the teachers that have been at that school for so long, Mr. Sinclair, who the students love and who is ultimately the behind the team spirit of the school. Ms. Adiola and Ms Saul who have been their so long. Me. Charue who has helped the school tremendously in his area. What about Coach Spence who is loved by all his students. Ms Zagers, Ms Geanger and the list goes on!! What about all those teachers who have been there, have they too not contributed to the school. Ppl stop undervaluing yourselves and realize that you too played an important role in the betterment of the SCS. Do not think that another was able to establish this alone. Why is it that the only time that things have escalated to this level is when the past director’s contract was not renewed. Do u honestly think that if his contract was renewed he would care about the other teachers not being renewed. Think realistically….. You may be able to see things in a different light. Words to consider, “you don’t always follow the loudest ppl or the most taken path”. Sit and really think about it!

  10. Another concerned parent

    Dear Concerned, Or you are very close to the fire or you absolutely do not understand what this is all about. It s not only about teachers not being on time to start the academic year. Previous years we had the same situation. It is about the fact that the board members got themselves involved in politics and that therefore heads had to roll. Up until now they can not give any reason why these teachers and director had to leave. They hide behind “laster”. Telling lies and making those who had to leave look bad with all kinds of absurd arguments. We as parents have had more than enough of this manipulative, indoctrinate behavior. It is about lying, bullying, disrespect, dictatorship, and above all self interest. The school an it’s students are not the boards’ priority. It is their self gain in the long run. That my dear concerned is what this is all about.
    Out these incompetent people and let them feel the disgust and hatred that we as Sabians have developed for these individuals.

  11. Concerned must not be that concern that the board full out LIED and continue to about there role in all this and the fact that kids still don’t have teachers. You that concerned about Sacret Heart then you call them up but as I say before, my fight is with the disception of these three, or two or one board member left and I and many Sabans wont stop till we get a new board that make the right decisions for our kids and not use our kids to settle personal issues which is what they did. The svchool was suppose to start on the 11th and my children have a calendar stating so. If OCW change all BES islands why only Saba affected? convenient I say. Thems involved are more crooked than a dogs hind leg.

  12. Well well I do declare. First off I am not the lovely Mr. Dave. Unlike any of us he would have had no shame what so ever in putting his real name. Also if Mr Dave is running to Tabby and Raquel what is the problem in that. You all running to Hemmie and other disgruntled teachers and yet you talking about him being in good company? Saffy you a little quick to jump to assumptions, the same way assumptions were made with a lot I assume! Smh you have all had your say and your opinions so let others have theirs as well.
    Strange you say that I am not from here and I am not a parent so this does not concern me but you same ppl were out asking for signatures from non Sabans and non parents for your letter. You say that this is a community problem yet all of a sudden when someone has an opinion different to yours they are being told to hush their mouth. Contradicting yourself there, aren’t you. What the VO Raad should ask for is a name behind all those signatures, cause like Mr. Dave always says, the school children say the last letter was mainly signed by non parents and some ppl even signed their families names. So let’s all listen to what the school. children say. As for the comment Saba Me made, I too must defend that because I have sit amidst teachers who have said they don’t understand the big deal because it has happened before and this drama was never the case. They want to move on not continue with this mockery. Not all teachers are on your side.
    As for the new board, did the parents not promise to have two names submitted to the board by start of the school year. Was this promise kept? Because when I ask the school children they said no! But oh no it’s only the board who don’t keep their promises. Also the board is always blamed for non transparency but yet this new board seems to be such a big secret! Pots and kettles that’s all I have to say. I have had my opinion now and I thank the editor for allowing this on the site. There are always three sides to a story and all should be told.

  13. Christalle Klaber

    First of all we have had 3 public meetings. Also there was another meeting with the school board. Did Concerned and 100%saba attend any of these meetings????

    We had a hard time to get that meeting in the first place with the board because they had us running around like fools.

    On July 14th, 2014 we had a meeting with the school board and one of the agreements that the board made was that all teachers excluding Dutch would be on the island by Monday August 11th, 2014 GUARANTEED. When the board knew the promise that was made to all parents wasn’t going to be kept, the board could have send an email to the parents email address, a public notice or to the newspaper, something, but nothing was communicated.

    There was an email sent to the board on August 14th, 2014 by the parents asking them 3 questions and that was one of the questions asking if all the teachers were on the island. Do you want to know what was answered??? NOTHING, no response from the board.

    We have our facts about the book orders. If the board was interfering with school uniforms what you think about the book orders???

    I don’t think you have heard any of us saying that we want to be on the board. If you all had come to any of our public meetings to hear the information first hand. You all would have heard our open discussion that we want a new school board that is elected not hand picked by Commissioner Johnson who he can put on the board to manipulate. We want a transparent board with different representations on the board not like the board they have now.

    To 100%saba Your words and I quote “SCS now has a new principle, new teachers and a new year ahead of them and the loud ones have said it time and time again that they will make the new teachers and principles life a living hell, they will do what it takes, they don’t like persons on the board personally, but are they crucified? Are they written up by the Saba news or such?” I have not said once I am going to make the new principal and new teachers lives a living hell at SCS so before you spread your lies get your facts in order then I will be just as bad as the current board. We can’t change the past but we can change the future. I as a parent will never ever jeopardize our children’s future!!!

    You can come to me whoever you maybe and let’s have an open and frank discussion.

    If I do or don’t like the board personally has nothing to do with the actions of the school board. Why would I have a personal vendetta? Because I worked for the government and I choose to resign from my job after 13 1/2 years has nothing to do with the school. It’s not only me that feels the same way go out in the community and find your answer.

    The 100 signatures and counting speaks for itself.

    My daughter attended the school for 5 years and I have been involved. I know what is right and I know what is wrong. The truth be told is on Saba if you have your friends or family and they are doing wrong the people don’t want to say it because of fear. People shouldn’t be afraid to say what is on their mind. Wrong is Wrong and Right is Right. That’s the problem here. If people continue with that mentality things will never change.
    Another quote I will use “I think it’s high time the Board uncovers the truth. I don’t know if that is legally possible but I think it would put a stop to this nonsense.” That would be great but it wouldn’t solve the issues that we have at hand and by the way the board has to be careful with emails.

    The children stood up in May 2014 and pour there hearts out in a letter with a petition with signatures and what happened. NOTHING. The board sent them a letter that was meant we are the board, we are in charge, we do what we want. The board showed them that they meant nothing because I spoke to the kids and asked them how they felt about the response from the board. So please don’t come with that nonsense we are showing the children how to fight dirty we are showing them no matter what when you are right you fight until the end!!!

  14. To Saffy and Christalle:
    .When I spoke about the Sacred Heart School I was touching on the fact that the children had to start the school one week late as well as the Saba Comprehensive School, since that was the hot topic that the board “LIED” about. Although I respect the stance of Christalle for standing up for the children, as a student I believe that since the whole topic is about the well being of the school children I suggest that instead of complaining about the problem be part of the solution and ask to join the school board (as was recommendation during the meeting between parents and the school board). At this point it just looks very childish with the personal attacks and name calling that is taking place. I hope this helps to resolve the issue.

  15. 100% Saban (who ever you are) I agree with you 100% if mr hemmie contract was renewed i took feel that all this would not be going on its not bout the other teachers that gone its bout him.
    how comes when mrs charles contract was not renewed in 2008 no one never looked to defend her. no petitions was going around no one made noise and she is a saban 100%.
    again Jake is confused because i would much faster defend one a me own locals instead of a man who is not from saba.
    is it no so that a certain entity on the island recently did not renew a young mans contract? who is out fighting for that young man?? and he is 100% saban. i gues he just got to accept it and move on. well i say to those who contract is not renewed accept it and move on. Mrs charles did and so is this young boy.
    in ending 100% saban i say i agree with you again. if there is truths as to why the board did not renew hemmie contract they should uncover this. people sick and tired of the same nonsense indeed. everyone have a good weekend cause Jake intends on enjoying his.

  16. The school board should resign if they have any dignity left. They have destroyed the school as a result of personal goals and political agendas. Education is the most important tool a society has at its disposal and this board have drastically failed to ensure its effectivity. They have simply failed to execute the responsibilities they were assigned. The fact that others here above try to spin another ‘story’ behind the situation only shows that Saba’s educational system is not their main concern.

    @ Jake – I would hope you defend those who are good at their jobs, good human beings and bring something positive to the Saban community instead of where they were born and if they are “100% Saban”.

    @ Saban me – Do you care to expand on your accusations about the old director and how he made SCS a “happy place”.

  17. Hello Parents, Students, and SCS,

    I am a math teacher and private math tutor and have recently applied for a teaching/tutoring position at SCS, after my recent summer trip to Saba which made me realize how much you all really need teachers like myself. I sent an application and all of my credentials to the director at SCS and, unfortunately, I have not received any response yet from anyone. I have over 20 years of experience and currently also run an SAT prep course to help students release their potentials in order to acquire the skills necessary to get accepted into various American Universities. I am here to help. Please communicate with me. I would love to work with the students on Saba and make a positive difference in the school system there. Parents, your concerns are very valid and I would love to help you get the education for your children that they deserve. In addition, I have traveled to Saba many times over the years and love the people and environment and want to help in keeping that ‘Saban’ culture that is cherished by you and so many of us repeated travelers. Your island is a gem and therefore we need to keep it strong and well educated so young people can grow up with positive futures and enrich the Saba that we all know and love. Thank you for your attention.

    Note Webmaster: You are welcome to contact me if you would like to get in contact with Jill Horanzy. You can use the link at the bottom of the page.

  18. Another concerned parent

    Dear Saban me, 100% Saban, Concerned, Christall Klaber, Saffy and all the others, I have the following message for you.

    1. The management Coach Ms. Kooy was ultimately rejected by the task Force and at then the only board member Ms. Granger in 2012. It was the task force who informed OCW no longer to have her service rendered to the SCS management staff seen her extremely Dutch approach. This decision was not not by Mr. Hemmie, but by the task force in support of the then existing board member.
    2. Again I like to stress that it is not about teachers being late on island to teach. This happens every year. It is about the fact that board members can take decisions without consulting the management staff or just ignore their recommendations. Their supreme attitude is totally out of place and shows significant signs of self pitty and “ubermensch”. These ladies are a threat towards the continuity of Saba’s education based on their limited ability of thinking across the line. So please remove these individuals and have democratic elections to vote for those who we feel are the best to serve for the students.
    3. Dear Saban me, last Saturday we could see that the former teachers of SCS had organized a BBQ at Mr. Hemmie s place. A total surprice for him (see facebook for evidence). Teacher Goffe, Sinclair, Mark Dodds, Rhiannon, Terry, Marlon, Frederick, Kamela, (apologies from Simone and Adiola) and the new Maths teacher were there to have a good time. So dear Saban Me, or should I just call you Ms. Nadine, it was indeed the positive atmosphere that was developed under Mr. Hemmie’s leadership and that you did not take part of this and tried to destroy this, is just an example of your jealousy and incompetence as a (team)leader. It was indeed him who together with so many other teachers created the “happy school”. This is still ongoing although he is no longer in school. Teachers still respect the man and talk highly positive about him even to the VO-raad. Your name is never mentioned only in connection as postal Clerc to brief info over to your sister.
    4. Last but not least Mr. Hemmie is and will be a very popular person who will always be related to education and the nonsense that he was not born here is the lowest argument I have ever heard in my life. As if Antoine Solagnier, officer Tade, Gied Mommers, Joan Borque, Lynne Johnson, Dave Levenstone, sister Agatha, Henk Bontenbal, etc etc do not count for their contribution towards this island. You should be ashamed saying this about those who made Saba their home and invested what ever they had to build up their future here.
    5. Last but not least it seems that the VO raad had a very positive impression about Mr. Hemmie based on the comments from teachers and parents. You can not blame him for that. It is just how others grade him. Time to put hm back in a more enhanced educational position without idiots to down play him and time for Mr.C. Johnson to think what needs to be decided and how to move on with this circus. Have a pleasant week with all the new things coming up in school!!! By the way, Nadine, Anton is gone this week. You will keep his chair warm I guess. Poor Ms. Clement.

  19. Another concerned parent

    Dear Jill Horanzy, as applicant for any position at the SCS you have to send your emails to the school board or the Staff functionaris as mentioned in the add. Here it is not like in the rest of the world where the director and his management team handle the recruitment procedures, but it is the school board who is in full control. Therefore you should have contacted them for a possible teaching position and not, logically thinking, the director.

  20. Well noted. I was only following applicant instructions on the SCS website and actually a friend of mine who was just recently on the island went to the school on behalf of me and met Anton Hermans who said he forwarded my info to Floor who was supposed to respond and never did. If you have suggestions of others I should forward it to, please share. Thank you.