National Democratic Party (NDP) Fourth District Candidate Sandy M. Harrigan-Underhill believes her track record when it comes to leadership speaks for itself, as she was given the name ‘Iron Lady’ during her former years as Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS).
During her official campaign launch in Road Town on Saturday, April 8, 2023, Harrigan-Underhill urged voters in the upcoming election to refer to this track record, noting that she is an honest leader who can represent and fight for the people of the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) both locally and internationally.
She noted that she would have created her own footprints and legacy as an educator for over 27 years, most of which was spent in the district serving in various capacities.
Harrigan-Underhill said her challenging journey as Principal at the school would provide great insight into her aptitude for leadership and the reasons why she is the leadership the District deserves.
“While I was hired to be the Principal of the school I believed that I would emerge as more of a transformational leader…who was able to motivate, influence, inspire and lead our largest secondary school of over 1400 students and nearly 200 staff during a period of considerable challenges,” she said.
She added that the period between 2014 and 2018 was some of the most difficult years faced by the school, where a drastic change in its culture and ethos resulted in major disciplinary issues during her tenure.
Those issues ranged from gang-related activities, drugs, daily fights and cyberbullying, which demanded constant Police presence on the school’s campus.
“During this time, I would be called the ‘Iron Lady.’ I believe I was given this name for having the courage to dig deep and to understand that building strong relationships and partnerships with the community would be the key to turning the school around,” she noted.
Sandy M. Harrigan-Underhill resigned from
her job as ESHS Principal in 2019 to contest for a Territorial At Large
seat with the NDP but failed in her quest to get elected.
‘I am the leadership that you deserve’- Harrigan-Underhill
Harrigan-Underhill told supporters that this demanded leadership that understood the complexities of the issues and what was required to address them.
“People of the Virgin Islands
, I believe that we are at a crossroads and that this election will determine the course that we will take…I believe that our country is crying out for good leaders, compassionate leaders, leaders who understand that when they are elected, they are elected by the people to serve the people and as such they are accountable to the people…I am confident that I am one of those leaders, “ she reiterated, as she recalled more challenges she tackled at the school following the 2017 hurricanes.
“This is my legacy…It is on this record that I humbly seek your vote, people of District 4. Asking you for the opportunity to do even more…I believe that I am the leadership that you deserve,” Harrigan-Underhill reiterated.
Harrigan-Underhill resigned from her job as ESHS Principal in 2019 to contest for a Territorial At Large seat with the NDP but failed in her quest to get elected.
Her boss at the time, the controversial former Education Minister Myron V. Walwyn, also suffered a heavy defeat as an At Large candidate.
Both Harrigan-Underhill and Walwyn are now seeking to get into the House of Assembly (HoA) via district seats.