Barry University alumna Joan Knowles-Turnquest was recently elected to the position of Assistant Secretary General of the Bahamas Union of Teachers. A 2012 graduate with a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, Knowles-Turnquest has been a primary school teacher in Nassau, Bahamas since 1994.
Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) general elections take place every three years. Members vote to elect the executive committee which is comprised of six positions: president, vice-president, secretary general, Asst. secretary general, treasurer, and Asst. treasurer.
Knowles-Turnquest has been a BUT member since she began teaching in 1994. The 2013 election was the first time she ran for an executive committee position, beating Indiana Thompson.
In her new role as Asst. Secreatry General, Knowles-Turnquest is responsible for assisting the Secretary General in conducting the business of the BUT Annual General Meeting held each August. In addition to this responsibility, Knowles-Turnquest will be tasked with managing BUT district offices, membership services, and employee training and development.
Knowles-Turnquest has been a primary school teacher at Oakes Field Primary School in Nassau since 1998. She has previously taught at E.P. Roberts Primary School and Yellow Elder Primary School. In addition to her teaching experience, Knowles-Turnquest served as the Bahamian National Education Conference Secretariat from 2006-2009. She has received numerous teaching awards including being named the Sir Gerald Cash National Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2012 and the Bahamas Ministry of Education’s National Teacher of the Year in 2000-2001.
Prior to her education at Barry, Knowles-Turnquest earned a B.S. in Primary Education from the University of Melbourne (Australia) in 1998. She earned associate degrees from The College of the Bahamas in 1994 (general education) and 1989 (journalism & mass communication).