A new Director of Education, Mrs Shirley Wahler has been appointed and will take up her position in early March, following her predecessor Colin Moore on completion of his contract.
As the Director of Education, Shirley’s main responsibilities will be to continue to drive educational improvements across the directorate. She will also be required to develop further training opportunities, in line with the changing economic needs of the Island and through the recently introduced Apprenticeship scheme, and in collaboration with Enterprise St Helena through its ‘Up-skilling’ programme.
Shirley commented on her new role:
“I am both delighted and honoured to have been chosen to take on this important role at such a pivotal time in St Helena’s history. St Helena is an Island with a rich history and a very bright future and it is my hope that the experience I have gained from more than 28 years as an educator will enable me to be of service to this vibrant community.”
Shirley brings to her new role a wealth of experience in the education field, having served as the Chief Education Officer for the Cayman Islands for the past seven and a half years – during which time there was unprecedented improvement in the education system.
Prior to taking on the role of Chief Education Officer, Shirley was Principal of Cayman Brac High School from 2000-2007. Over that period, she was awarded the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour for services to education in honour of the dramatic improvement in examination results.
Shirley originally trained as a teacher of secondary Mathematics and English, and taught at secondary and tertiary levels in both the United States and the Cayman Islands. She spent seven years (1991-1998) working at the Community College of the Cayman Islands as a lecturer in English and Mathematics and took on a range of leadership roles, including working in the team that developed and introduced the College’s first academic Degree programmes.
In addition to Bachelor’s Degrees in English and Secondary Education, Shirley also holds a MA Degree (with Distinction) in Education from Durham University.
Shirley, who hails from the Island of Cayman Brac, with a population of less than 2000 people, will move to St Helena with her husband, Stephen, a retired librarian.
“I am most excited about getting to know St Helena and her people and in working together with the education team to build on the excellent progress already being made on the Island.”
9 January 2015