No. 130 Friday, August 20, 2010
Auditors from the Ministry of Education are to commence a probe into reported financial irregularities at the Knockalva Technical High School in Hanover as the Board has demanded the immediate resignation of the principal, Beryl Roper.

   In an interview with the Western Mirror, Board Chairman, Moncrieffe Leslie said that the Board had lost trust in her. As chairman, he declared, he has no trust in her ability to lead. During a meeting held on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at the school, the Board unanimously agreed that she should immediately step down.
   “She has failed to present a development plan, she has not executed the mandate of the Board, we are concerned about how the school’s finances are being managed and she has failed to lodge unknown amounts of cash received for the construction of the library to the school’s account,” Mr. Leslie noted.
   Miss Roper, up to press time, was reportedly in the United States of America and was not available to give her side of the story. However, Mr. Leslie noted that the meeting was arranged prior to her leaving the island. She did not attend that meeting, which had been set to put plans in place for the new school year as well as to evaluate her performance. According to Mr. Leslie, the members of the Board have been experiencing difficulties working with her. The Board chairman told the Western Mirror that Miss Roper has, among other things, been very disrespectful to him.
   She is accused of making claims for travel for herself. Some of those travels, Mr. Leslie said, did not appear to be school-related. He also pointed out that no member of the Board has seen the silver top-of-the line Mercedes Benz car, which the principal is said to be driving. Mi Leslie told this newspaper that the documentation, license and registration for the vehicle, are yet to be presented to the Board.
   In the meantime, the Western Mirror understands that senior vice Principal Veralda Seal is to be appointed as acting principal as the investigation into the financial irregularities commences. It is further understood that a decision is to be taken when the Board and Ministry again meet.
   Miss Roper, who had not been permanently appointed, had only completed 17-months at Knockalva. This newspaper has also learnt that her appointment is now under investigation. The Ministry of Education could not be reached for a comment up to press time yesterday.

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