Photo: Principals visiting Lamanai
by Kristen Ku
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 27, 2023
On Thursday of last week, the Belize Association of Principals for Secondary Schools (BAPSS) held its annual, 2-day conference which opened at The Hub Resource & Community Center on Lake Independence Boulevard, and this year’s theme was ‘Putting the Pieces Together for Reflective, Effective, Authentic Leadership in Secondary Schools.”
Day One of the conference was filled with presentations by both principals and the SCA Steel Band.
In attendance were around 50 high school principals from across the country, along with special guests such as the Mayor of Belize City, Bernard Wagner; Chief Education Officer, Yolanda Gongora; and keynote speaker, Dr. Sharmayne Saunders, who has been the head of the University of West Indies’ open campus in Belize.
Two of the topics discussed were The Digital Principal: Leveraging Technology; and Strengthening Family and Community Partnerships.
Dr. Saunders spoke about her experience with schooling and her desire to persist despite the odds, while Mayor Wagner gave an encouraging and uplifting welcome, expressing gratitude for the efforts that these principals make. He also gave a generous financial contribution to the association, describing them as true heroes.
It was a day filled with special moments, and Salome Tillett, who is the principal of St. Catherine Academy and a member of BAPSS’ planning committee, shared a little on the event.
“We had an annual conference which is part of our professional development, and it’s part of finding new topics related to what we do every day. So, the theme for this year was—we call it real leadership—which was, ‘Reflective, Effective, and Authentic Leadership in Schools,’ of which we can use those studies as heads of school,” she said.
On Day Two of this event, the principals headed outside the city to Lemonal and took a river tour to Lamanai archaeological site for the day.