Adventist Schools Enjoy a Spate of Successes in spite of the Storms
13 Apr 2018 | Gerene Joseph/NCC Staff
“Every department is to bear the mark of divine excellence,” counseled Ellen G White. Inspired by this thought, our schools rose up from the ruin and rubble of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two category five storms and, reflected the excellence which should characterize God’s people.
In response to a government organized post Hurricane Maria Art Contest, the St Maarten SDA School created a master piece which was sold for US$1,700. Principal Clara George notes, “Students were excited to participate and they worked as a team to produce this exceptional piece. They have made the school proud, as well as richer by $1,700, the price paid by the highest bidder.”
Meanwhile, the St Eustatius School and the St Croix SDA School each birthed an Early Childhood Development Center to cater to the needs of Pre-Kindergarten children. “We congratulate the schools for this significant achievement, as we see the emerging need for educational services to our children at this foundational level. These centers will also serve as feeders for the Kindergarten classes in our schools,” stated Mrs Gerene Joseph, NCC Education Director.
The principal and staff of the St Eustatius SDA School motivated the students to be missionary minded by assisting those who were more severely affected than they were by the hurricanes of 2017. Consequently, they organized a Walkathon and raised over $2,500 which was shared between the schools in the NCC and Dominica. “We wanted to build a spirit of compassion in our students, and make them cognizant of how blessed they are”, noted Principal LaVerne Duggins, as she presented checks to Ps Desmond James, NCC President, and Ms Daphne Magloire, Education Director of the East Caribbean Conference.
All three secondary schools participated in the CARU Secondary Schools’ Talent Parade which was held in Trinidad on March 06. Janillia George from the BVI SDA School snatched 3rd place in the talent segment, with her dramatic poem based on Hurricane Irma, while Kenda Mason of the St Thomas/St John SDA School was adjudged the overall 3rd Place winner in the competition. Mia Aubert’s original song, which was based on the theme of the event, captured the hearts of the audience who requested an encore of the song. “We’re extremely proud of our students’ performance in this event, and are quite sure that their participation will contribute to their overall development”, noted Education Director, Mrs Gerene Joseph. “They are all winners in their own right”, she further commented.
On the heels of the CARU Talent Parade was the Virgin Islands Poetry Out Loud Contest. Mahlanna Graham of the St Croix SDA School emerged 1st Place winner in this territorial contest, while Angelica Sterling from the St Thomas/St John SDA School snatched 3rd Place in the competition. Dr Hamil Tobias, Principal of the St Croix SDA School reported, “We are overjoyed at the results. The quality performance of our students speaks loudly to the quality of Adventist education. We promote excellence as the norm.”
The trail of excellent performances by our students continued with 8th Grader Roy-Ann Blossom Philbert of the St Croix SDA School, entering the Lions Club 2018 Speech Contest. Roy-Ann’s excellent oration of her essay based on the effects of Hurricane Maria landed her 2nd place in the competition. Clutching her certificates of participation and the Ipad she received as her prize, a self-confident Roy-Ann declared, “I did my best and I knew God would help me to be a winner. I’m glad I participated and made my school proud.”
Despite the inconvenience of operating from two locations due to the damages resulting from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the St Thomas/St John SDA School persevered in hosting its annual Nutrition Fair. Nutritious delicacies which were on display and on sale satisfied the taste buds of the large crowd who supported the much anticipated annual event. Principal Whitman Browne, sang the praises of the main organizer, Mrs. Janice Williams, whose brain child the event is. “I am quite pleased with the quality of the event and the huge turnout of supporters. Mrs. Williams must be commended for her persistence in hosting this event even in the face of adversity.” The theme of the Nutrition Fair was Go Further With Food and proceeds from this event amounted to approximately $5,000.00.
The St Croix SDA School hosted several special weeks including Math Week, English Language Arts Week and Courtesy Week. Students’ excitement was at a peak during these special weeks, as they found these initiatives which have been recently introduced to be refreshing, timely and relevant. Mia Aubert, a student, noted, “Young people enjoy learning especially when it is done in a creative way. We are grateful for the introduction of these weeks. They create a sense of team work and promote unity among students, since some of the activities require that we work together in houses.”
As part of its character-building drive, the BVI SDA School took the Kindergarten students on a field trip to the Moorings Marina Inn Restaurant. The objective was to assist these young students in developing table etiquette. Principal Tobin was quite appreciative of the initiative and praised the efforts of the Kindergarten teacher, Mrs Michelle Simon. “Great Job Teacher Simon! This is a practical and innovative way to transmit values to our children even in their formative years. These lessons will last for life”, noted Principal Tobin.
It was standing room only at the St Croix SDA School on Sunday April 8, when the well advertised and long anticipated elementary school musical, Malice in the Palace took place. The Bible story of Queen Esther was presented with grace, skill, excellence, and without script by the elementary school students. The audience was spell-bound and thrilled by the high quality of the production. Mrs Josephine Thomas-Lewis remarked, “This was a team effort, and I give God the glory for the success of this venture”. “God’s school should be the head and not the tail. In future we will seek to extend our productions to the wider public, so that they can see what our school has to offer,” Mrs Lewis further noted. The musical department of the St Croix SDA School plans to host two more musical productions before the school year ends.