NJ For Change

Friday, March 10, 2006

NJ Teacher to Become Top Cop in Liberia

Here’s an interesting story that caught my eye. A New Jersey special education teacher is about to become Liberia's chief of police. Beatrice Munah Sieh, 48, has been teaching math, science and reading to students with learning disabilities for the past six years at a Trenton middle school.

Sieh is returning to her home country to become the West African nation’s first-ever female police chief. Sieh's new job came as a surprise to her boss, Principal Ruben Flores, who says he exclaimed, "Oh My God!" when she told him she would be leaving for the post. Flores had known that Sieh had done some police work in her native land, but not that she had actually been deputy director of police operations before fleeing for fear of her life with her three children in 1996.
The police chief at the time was Joseph Tate, one of the most powerful men under now-deposed warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor. Sieh said she had confronted Tate about apparent corruption, which elicited a phone call from Tate just before gunmen shot up her house. Luckily for Sieh, she wasn't home, but she knew it was time to leave the country."I felt lucky and I got out of there," Sieh said.
Sieh was appointed to the position last month by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf is a Harvard-educated former finance minister, who took office in January as Africa's first elected female head of state.
"Our country is starting from zero, from bottom, and the first thing we have to do is fight crime," said Sieh, a Hamilton resident whose final day teaching is Friday. Sieh says she will miss her students, and two of her three sons are grown and will be staying behind when she leaves.
Blogger joated said...

You know, six years teaching in a middle school in Ttrenton may make her over qualified to be Liberia's top cop.

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