Ms Cetonya Cacho has been appointed as the new Chief Officer for the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands (EYSAL).
Ms Cacho was Acting Chief Officer in the Ministry of EYSAL since 24 Aug 2018 until 1 Aug 2019 when she took on the role permanently. Prior to this, she had served as Deputy Chief Officer from March 2014 to August 2018.
She began her career as a teacher after graduating from the University of Miami with a double bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. At the age of just 28 years, she became Principal of Bodden Town Primary School.
In January 2012, she was appointed Manager of Initial Teacher Training in the Ministry of Education. During this time, her focus was on broadening the training opportunities available to Caymanians wanting to pursue a career in education and undertake relevant further education right at home.
She led the development and implementation of internationally recognised qualifications, including a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and a Post Graduate Professional Certificate in Education offered by the University College of the Cayman Islands.
Since becoming the Deputy Chief Officer of the Ministry of EYSAL, Ms. Cacho led a number of legislative and regulatory reforms in the education field. In particular, the Education Law, 2016 and associated Regulations, 2017, were both revised under her direction.
The redevelopment of the Education Law was based on the current and perceived future needs of the education system as well as on regional and international legislation and best practices. Ms Cacho worked in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to help shape the final law.
Additionally, she led the process for the Baseline School Inspections for all 16 Government schools in the Cayman Islands over a one-year period.
As Chief Officer of the Ministry of EYSAL, Ms Cacho now manages the largest Ministry in Government with 1,039 members currently on staff.
Ms Cacho has a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southampton where she focused on Higher Education Management and graduated with Distinction. She is currently in the process of continuing her education and pursuing a Doctorate in Education from the University of Durham.
Commenting on Ms Cacho’s appointment as Chief Officer, Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE said, “I am extremely pleased to see someone with such a passion and enthusiasm for her field placed in this role as Chief Officer. Ms Cacho has a wealth of invaluable experience helping to create greater opportunities for our future generations. I look forward to her continued successes in this role as she serves the people of these Islands.”
The Minister for Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly added, “Ms. Cacho is extremely dedicated, strategic and process-minded. I am particularly impressed by the positive impact she has on her team. She is extremely supportive and committed to ensuring that they are equipped with everything they need to perform and serve in their roles well. I am not surprised by her professional accomplishments to date. Chief Officer Cacho epitomizes world-class, service leadership and rises to the occasion whenever she is called upon to do so. Unequivocally her initial calling was to Education and it has undoubtedly, manifested effectively into all the portfolio areas now under her responsibility.”
Commenting on her new appointment, Ms Cacho said, “I am honoured and grateful to continue working as the Chief Officer of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands. To be able to lead the team towards delivering a world class service is extremely rewarding for me.
“To date, my own professional motto has always been: ‘Everything I do is for the benefit of the children I serve’. I plan to use this to help empower others to be the next successful leaders of the Cayman Islands and global competitors on the world stage.”