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Elena Smith steps down as NTUCB senator

GeneralElena Smith steps down as NTUCB senator

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 19, 2024

Elena Smith has officially confirmed her resignation as the National Trade Union Congress of Belize’s (NTUCB) Senator, effective April 1.

Smith, who has dedicated seven years of service to the Senate, has been a prominent figure in Belize’s educational and labor sectors, notably serving as the President of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) before stepping down in 2022.

Smith’s resignation comes on the heels of her decision to return to the educational field, this time as the vice principal of Saint Ignatius Primary School in Belize City.

Citing “a few personal matters” as the reason behind her decision, Smith expressed a mixture of emotions about her departure from the Senate.

“It’s bitter-sweet,” she remarked, reflecting on the relationships and partnerships she has built over the years. “… but that’s how the position goes; you’re not there forever, and you know that there have to be some changes, so I am fine with moving on.”

Throughout her tenure in the Senate, Smith has been recognized for her commitment to education and labor rights, bringing a wealth of experience and passion to her role.

Her efforts have not only contributed to significant discussions and legislation, but have also allowed her to grow personally and professionally.

“I think in any position that you have, you grow; we don’t know everything,” Smith stated. “We enter with certain skills and certain qualifications, but as you move along, you learn a lot. And for us at the Senate, we have been given opportunities to attend workshops, training, and conferences abroad in the various areas that we have to deal with in terms of the Senate. Those things have helped me to also grow and sharpen my skills in those areas.”

“Everybody who contributes to the National Trade Union Congress, the work that they do, it could never be compensated. Sister Elena took up the leadership on behalf of the National Trade Union Congress in the Senate a few years ago, and when she did that it was because previously there were some questions about how the National Trade Union Congress was being represented in the Senate. So, she took over during a tough time. She had to prove herself and show to the National Trade Union Congress membership and Belizeans that she understood her responsibility and her role as a trade unionist,” shared the president of the NTUCB, Luke Martinez.

He added, “We definitely continue to thank Sister Elena for the work that she has done, and encourage her to continue to contribute to our country in any way possible.”

Filling her position will be newly elected Senator, Glenfield Dennison. Dennison was elected on Saturday, February 17, when the NTUCB held its election at the Belmopan Civic Center.

He received 26 votes, while Marvin Mora, the other nominee, received 25 votes. The results are to be sent on Monday, February 19, to the Governor General, Dame Froyla Tzalam, for final approval.

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