(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News) John Samuel speaking at the 2019 HLSCC graduation exercise.
Former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, John Samuel was announced the new Chairman of the Board of Governors of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC).
The announcement was made yesterday, Thursday, June 13 at the 26th graduation ceremony of the HLSCC, which was held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town, Tortola.
In making the announcement, Minister for Education, Dr. the Hon. Natalio D. Wheatley said Samuel is the perfect person to help the college bolster its offering in areas critical to the local job market, while facilitating the alignment of the education system with the economy.
“I have every confidence that he will lead the college to even greater heights as we approach the 30th anniversary of the founding of this institution,” the Education Minister remarked.
In making his debut speech, the former Permanent Secretary described it as a privilege and honour to assume chairmanship of the board of the institution and expressed sincere thanks to the Minister for extending the invitation and opportunity to serve the BVI again.
Samuel, who served as an instructor in advance marine navigation almost 20 years ago at HLSCC, also paid tribute to all those who served the college before him. He also challenged students and faculty members to embrace changes, while pointing out that the survival of any institution depends on it.
“I make a recommitment to a new vision which is informed by evolving imperatives. I recommit to leadership which facilitates the demands of a reconsidered economy, while serving the needs of a healthy and harmonious community,” he said during his address to students, faculty staff and guardians.
The new HLSCC Chairman noted that the college has a responsibility to the BVI community.
He said, “The national solution to the labor challenges is dependent in part on the college…programmes offered must reflect a shift in focus from the importation of skills to the development of skills. The success of the pockets of young men on the BVI blocks is dependent on this college also.”
Samuel was the Director of Shipping for the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry from 2012 to 2015. He held the post of Permanent Secretary (Acting) in the Ministry of Communications and Work from 2007 to 2009 and served as Deputy Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry from 2004 to 2007. He worked for the BVI Ports Authority as a Marine Officer and then as Marine Supervisor from 1991 to 1999. He served as the Director of BVI Maritime Administration for the Government of the Virgin Islands from 1999 to 2004.
He will be ably assisted by Judith Vanterpool as Deputy Chair and several new members. Returning members of the board include Dr. Henry Jarecki, Derek Dunlop, Cromwell Smith, Arthur Richardson and another individual.
The Board of Governors will also now have representatives from faculty and student.