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Jan 27, 1999

S.J.C. gets new president

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For the first time in its one hundred and eleven year history St. John’s College will have a lay person as its president. In a short ceremony this morning the school’s Board of Trustees officially introduced former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Carlos Perdomo as the new president of S.J.C. Perdomo an alumni and former teacher of the institution replaces Father Timothy Thompson S.J., who has held the post for the past five years. According to Thompson he had planned to go back to teaching after his term expired. Ariel Mitchell, the chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees, says they set up a search committee last October and Perdomo was chosen from among twenty-four candidates.

Ariel Mitchell, Chairman, S.J.C. Board of Trustees

“We looked for persons committed to the Jesuit mission. We looked for people who are good administrators because the president needs to be an administrator. We looked for a person who had some knowledge of the educational field and a person who had good public relations. Our president will need to go out there and sell the school.”

Father Timothy Thompson, Outgoing President, S.J.C.

“I thought it was a time for transition. It was a good timing in my life and as well to enter in a new president so I, before a years notice, I gave the board ample notice to find a successor and they have done a great job.

I will stay on at the college. I will have to see what the new president has to offer by way of a teaching position but I plan to go back to the classroom.”

Carlos Perdomo, President Elect, S.J.C.

“We have to remember that St. John’s College has been well established and is one of the better educational institutions in Belize. It is very diverse. It has a high school for boys, it has a sixth form junior college for men and women. It always had long years of extension service which is the part I like the best because it caters to people who are disadvantaged educationally to help them. So S.J.C. has a good tradition already and it is going to be easy for me to move in.

But what I look for as far as vision, is to try to see how we can strengthen whatever we do with the realities of society around us.

Because we are a catholic school see how we can get involved with the good news which is, helping the poor, getting involved with issues with women in Belize, of equality, of trying to strengthen our culture, in art and things like that. So we want to become not an S.J.C. campus that is sitting out there but an institution that gets involve with the nation with issues with educational newness and that type of thing.”

Carlos Perdomo takes up his post as president of S.J.C. at the end of the academic year.

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