Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet new SER chairlady: First woman to chair council in Dutch Caribbean

POSTED: 06/10/14 12:02 AM

St. Maarten – Long time educator Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet was elected chairlady of the Social Economic Council (SER) by fellow board members during their meeting on Wednesday, May 28, the SER said in a press release yesterday. Bryson–Pantophlet is the first woman to serve as chair of the SER on Sint Maarten, as well as throughout the Dutch Caribbean.

Bryson-Pantophlet takes over the position from former chairman, Arthur Bute, who bid farewell to the SER on April 30.  On May 1, the three-year tenure of the former SER council came to an end.  A new nine member council was installed by national decree on May 21. Oldine Bryson–Pantophlet serves an independent expert (kroon lid) on the council.

Born on the island of Aruba, Bryson–Pantophlet is no stranger to our community and has made a name for herself in the field of education on Sint Maarten. She graduated from Christelijke Pedagogisch Academie, J.D. Smits specialized in the Dutch language. Bryson – Pantophlet is the owner of Language for Knowledge (LFK), a company which provides courses in Dutch for all ages.

She returned to the island in the 1980s and served as a teacher and acting head for five years at Prins Willem Alexander School, formerly known as the John Larmonie School. She continued her career at the Milton Peters College (MPC), as an educator in the Dutch language. Hard work and determination resulted in her appointment in 1990, as director of MAVO later VSBO-TKL. After fifteen years as a director at MPC, in 2005 she assumed the position of Director of Public Education for the government of Sint Maarten, Bryson-Pantophlet served as Director of Public Education until 2009.

Bryson-Pantophlet career spans several decades in the public sector, she brings a vast of experience to her current position as chairlady of the SER. Presently she serves as the director of Safe Haven, a non-profit organization which offers shelter, counseling, and supportive services to victims of domestic violence. In addition Bryson-Pantophlet also serves on the board of several social organizations in the community.

On the same day, Dwight Williams was re-elected as vice-chairman of the SER by his fellow board members. Returning for a second term, the young professional served as the first vice-chairman (independent expert) of the advisory council from May 1, 2011, until April 30 this year. Williams presently works at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank as a corporate manager.

The new elected chairlady and vice-chairman thanked their fellow SER members for the confidence they have shown in them, the SER said. The chairlady expressed her gratitude to former chairman, René Richardson, for laying the foundation and to Arthur Bute and ensuring the continuity of the council during the first tenure of the SER.

The terms of the chair and vice-chair will come to an end on April 30, 2017, at which time the three year tenure of the entire SER council also comes to an end.



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