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Feb. 22, 2005 In his official capacity as a member of the senate Committee on Education, Senator Juan Figueroa Serville, on Tuesday, visited the St. Croix Central High School and met with members of the accreditation team to get first hand information on the problems facing the institution.
Senator Figueroa-Serville met with Kent Moorhead, CHS principal, Regina Williams, assistant principal and Leah Messer, chairperson of the accreditation team, who presented the senator with a litany of projects to be completed before accreditation can be granted. These items include modifying the parking lot, upgrading the sewer system, improvements to the science lab and the purchasing of textbooks.
"According to accreditation team members there seems to be a 'disconnect' between the school and the administration," said Senator Figueroa-Serville. "The school has identified its needs, Middle States has concurred, funds are in place, but the administration is not moving ahead on the projects."
CHS officials said funds have been identified and have been available since June 2004 but according to Principal Moorhead, "not a penny has been drawn down."
"This bothers me very much," stated Senator Figueroa-Serville. "These deficiencies have to be corrected and there must be clear communication between the Insular Superintendent, the Commissioner of Education and the schools to speed these projects to completion."
The CHS team revealed to Senator Figueroa-Serville that several private companies offered their services to the school to complete some projects identified by the accreditation team, but due to bureaucratic red tape, lack of communication and delays, the companies eventually withdrew its support.
Senator Figueroa-Serville said he intends to "get to the bottom of the problem" during Tuesday's Education Committee meeting in St. Thomas. A similar meeting will be held on St. Croix on Wednesday, February 23. Both meetings begin at 6 pm.
"We must prioritize the needs of education," said Senator Figueroa-Serville. "Through my membership in the education committee, I intend to help move that process along."