Good Hope Country Day School is governed by a Board of Trustees, which includes 18 trustees, 4 ex-officio trustees, and 4 honorary trustees. Trustees serve three-year terms and may be re-elected.  The Board of Trustees has five standing committees: Governance, Finance, Buildings & Grounds, Advancement, and Strategic Planning. Trustees are listed below along with officer positions and bios.

Trustees 2016-17
John Harper, Board Chair
George Ashley, Co-Vice Chair
James Benton, Co-Vice Chair
Ricky Evangelista, Secretary

Michael Bourque
Nellon Bowry
Nesha Christian-Hendrickson
Michelle Dizon
Honnie Edwards
Gerry Groner
Winthropp Hector
Semaj Johnson
Hans Lawaetz
Cathy Mares
Brenda Pedersen
Laurence Richards
David Ridgway
Kye Walker
Ex-Officio Trustees (non-voting)
Angel Tirado, P.A. President
Susan Gibbons, Business Manager
Kari Loya, Head of School
Roger Summerhayes, Faculty Rep.

Honorary Trustees (non-voting)
Joan Darooge
Imelda Dizon
Toni Lyerly
Jeffrey Prosser
George Ashley

George Ashley is the proud parent of a current Good Hope Country Day School 11th grader and a Good Hope School 2013 graduate. He is serving his second term on the Board of Trustees.

James Benton

Mr. Benton, Vice-Chair of the Board, relocated to St. Croix in 1987, attended Country Day School from the 5th-10th grade, and graduated from the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, MA. After graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, Mr. Benton founded J. Benton Construction, which specializes in complex, fast-track projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As President, he is responsible for the company’s direction and profitability. He has managed nearly $400 million in construction over the last 20 years involving a wide range of projects including hotels, casinos, an assisted living facility, luxury apartment complexes, restaurants, office buildings, warehouses, utility company projects, rum distilleries, civil projects, vacation ownership and telecommunications facilities. Mr. Benton is also a Board Member of Merchant’s Commercial Bank and sits on the Virgin Islands Government Board of Land Use Appeals. Mr. Benton is serving his third term on the Board of Trustees.

Michael Bourque

Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President at Ocwen Financial Corporation

Mr. Bourque spent fifteen years in various financial leadership positions in the General Electric Company, spanning both GE’s industrial businesses as well as GE Capital. Most recently, from 2013 to April 2014, Mr. Bourque served as Chief Financial Officer for GE Distributed Power, a business within GE Power & Water. Prior to that he served in other CFO, financial planning and analysis and internal audit roles at General Electric. Mr. Bourque holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He is serving his first term on the Board of Trustees.

Nellon Bowry

Nellon Bowry is the proud parent of a current Good Hope Country Day School 8th grader. He is serving his third term on the Board of Trustees.

Nesha Christian-Hendrickson

Nesha R. Christian- Hendrickson is originally from St. Croix and graduated from Country Day School in 2000. In 2004, Attorney Christian-Hendrickson graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Information Systems and Statistical Analysis. She continued her studies at Vermont Law School where she completed a Juris Doctorate in 2008. Throughout her academic career, she has pursued dance – beginning at the age of two with the Caribbean Dance School and, while in college, with the NOMMO Performing Arts African Dance Company.

Attorney Christian-Hendrickson clerked for the late Honorable Francis D’ Eramo and then the Honorable Julio A. Brady. She is currently an Assistant Public Defender with the Office of the Territorial Public Defender. She is a member of the bar in both the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

She serves on several committees for the Virgin Islands Bar Association having been an active member since her return to the Territory in 2008. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Council. Attorney Christian-Hendrickson is also a member of the Juvenile Justice Board. In her free time, Attorney Christian-Hendrickson loves travel, art, fashion and amazing cuisine. Her parents are former CDS trustee Dr. Cora Christian and Dr. Simon Jones-Hendrickson. Attorney Christian-Hendrickson is serving her second term on the Board of Trustees.

Michelle Dizon

Michelle N. Dizon was raised on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.  She is a physician and specializes in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology.  She currently works at the Charles Harwood Community Health Clinic and has a private practice at the Island Medicine Center. Her parents, originally from the Philippines, moved to the Virgin Islands in 1967.  She attended the St. Croix Country Day School from pre-k to 12th grade and graduated with the class of 1984. After high school, she attended Tufts University in Medford, MA  receiving a Bachelors of Arts degree in History/ Pre Med. She then moved to NYC and received a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.  Dr. Dizon took a break from the classroom and worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD as a Public Health intern and then resumed studies at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and received her medical degree.  She continued to move south and completed an Internal Medicine residency and fellowship in Endocrinology at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  After completion of all of her studies, Dr. Dizon decided to return home and become part of the medical community of Virgin Islands. Dr. Dizon has served on the CDS board for 7 years and the GHCDS board for the past 3 years. She is currently also on the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) Board and the Virgin Islands Medical Licensing Board. She is the proud parent of two GHCDS students, Miko and Mikey.

Honnie Edwards

Honnie Edwards, Chair of the Advancement Committee, is President and Broker of Calabash Real Estate and has worked in real estate on St. Croix for 25 years. She opened Calabash Real Estate in 2000 as a full-service brokerage firm offering residential, commercial and property management services and the firm now has 23 agents working on all three US Virgin Islands. Ms. Edwards is the mother of three boys who all attended Country Day School (Classes of 2001, 2009, and 2014). Her eldest son, Christopher Fletcher, currently teaches history and economics at Good Hope Country Day School. Ms. Edwards is a passionate advocate for the community and the School. Ms. Edwards is serving her third term on the Board of Trustees.

Ricky Evangelista

Richard T. Evangelista serves as General Counsel at the Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center since March 2015.  He has also served as the Senior Policy Advisor to Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr., as the Assistant Commissioner of Labor and as the Legal Counsel to the Virgin Islands Public Employees Relations Board.  Prior to PERB, Richard served as a law clerk to the Honorable Maria M. Cabret, he was Legal Counsel to the President of the 23rd Legislature of the Virgin Islands and he was a staff attorney at Legal Services of the Virgin Islands.  Richard is admitted to the Virgin Islands Bar.

Gerry Groner

Gerald T. Groner, Esq., former Chair of Good Hope Country Day School, is a lawyer in private practice who has lived on St. Croix since 1981. Mr. Groner and his wife, Lisa Yntema, are the parents of two Country Day School graduates (Classes of 2001 and 2003). Mr. Groner serves as management and ownership interest in Island Title Services Corp and Survey Services Company, is the current chair for Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, and is a founding officer and board member of the Trust for Virgin Islands Lands, Inc.

Mr. Groner was also the past President and board member of the Virgin Islands Legal Assistance Foundation, past Co-Chair of the Ethics and Grievance Committee for the Virgin Island Bar Association, past board member of Our Town Frederiksted, past board member of the Frederiksted Health Clinic, and past board member of the Virgin Islands Legal Services Corporation. Mr. Groner is serving his sixth term on the Board of Trustees.

John Harper

John Harper manages the St. Croix offices of Marshall & Sterling Insurance, an insurance brokerage, where he has worked since 1987. He moved to St. Croix in 1985 from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Mr. Harper was born and raised in Wilmington, DE, where he attended Wilmington Friends School. He earned a BA degree at the University of Richmond (Virginia), studying Economics and Sociology. He was elected to the Board of Trustees of St. Croix Country Day School in 2011 and was elected Board Chair of Good Hope Country Day School in 2014. He previously served on the Board of St. Croix Country Day School from 1996 to 2002. He is a Past President and member of the Rotary Club of St. Croix Mid-Isle and he is a Trustee of the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands. Mr. Harper’s hobbies include bicycling and paddle boarding. He is married to Theresa Castagno Harper, who was a teacher at St. Croix Country Day School from 1993 to 2010. Mr. Harper is serving his fifth term on the Board of Trustees.

Winthropp Hector

Winthropp Hector is the proud parent of a Country Day School 2000 graduate. He is serving his fifth term on the Board of Trustees.

Semaj Johnson

Semaj Johnson is a proud 1994 graduate of Country Day School and a 1998 graduate of Wesleyan University with degrees in African-American Studies, Political Science and Religion. As a Country Day student, Mr. Johnson played basketball, wrote for the V.I. Daily News Teen Editorial Board, co-hosted a locally-aired television program – Youth Experiencing Success – and founded Youth for Youth, a radio program on WRRA in Frederiksted. In college, Semaj rowed crew, coordinated concert series and served as a student ambassador and consultant for the University’s Strategic space planning committee.

Upon graduating from Wesleyan, Mr. Johnson worked in New York City as a research associate for the former president of the Ford Foundation and later served in the South Bronx as Director of Commercial Revitalization and Director of Community Organizing for two inner-city sustainable development corporations. He later travelled to Kenya to serve as vice-president for Carolina for Kibera, a non-profit working in the slums of Nairobi. After returning to the U.S., he worked as an editorial editor for a Washington D.C. newspaper, and was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President. In 2005, he earned his juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. In the same year, he returned home to the Virgin Islands.

Mr. Johnson’s Virgin Islands community involvement includes serving as: an adjunct professor at the University of the Virgin Islands; Educational Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc,’s Iota Sigma Lambda chapter; member of the Waste Management Authority’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee; contributing writer for the V.I. Bar Journal; Board of Governors for the V.I. Bar Association; trustee of the V.I. Resource Center for the Disabled; trustee of the V.I. Humanities Council; and president of the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts. In 2014, Mr. Johnson was awarded the Marguerite Cobb-McKay Prize for recognition as an emerging Virgin Islands author. He clerked for Hon. District Court Judges Raymond L. Finch and Wilma A. Lewis. He currently works as a senior corporate litigation attorney for K.A. Rames, P.C.

Mr. Johnson credits Country Day School as the institution that first taught him the power of preparation, deep intellectual independence, a strong professional work ethic, creative relationships and a structured approach to pursuing curiosity. He is serving his second term on the Board of Trustees.

Hans Lawaetz

Hans Lawaetz was born on St. Croix, attended St. Patrick School for eight years, graduated from Cornell University, and then served five years in the US Air Force as an officer, before returning to St. Croix in 1964.

Mr. Lawaetz served on the first Good Hope School (GHS) Board of Trustees and was an Honorary Trustee. His two daughters, Amy & Jodie, graduated from GHS as well as his grandson Bryson Mays, and this year his grandson Matthew Lawaetz Mays will be a junior at Good Hope Country Day School. Mr. Lawaetz is one of the owners of Annaly Farms Inc. and Annaly Farms Senepol Inc.

He is presently the President of the international Senepol Cattle Breeders Association (SCBA) and Honorary President of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (VIOC).

Cathy Mares

Cathy Mast Mares, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, has been a resident of St. Croix for 22 years and is the parent of two Country Day School graduates (Classes of 2005 and 2008). She served as Parent Council President of CDS for seven years and has been very involved in the performing arts for 20 years, having done costumes and makeup for over 40 productions.  Mrs. Mares recently chaired the Head of School Search Committee. She has found giving to the school truly rewarding and her greatest pleasure is interacting with the school community. Mrs. Mares is serving her fifth term on the Board of Trustees.

Brenda Pedersen

Brenda Pedersen moved to St. Croix from Northern California in 1983. Her husband, Walter, and her met in 1978, after she was hurt in a skiing accident and was admitted to the hospital where he was an Orthopedic resident, in Washington, DC. Mrs. Pedersen studied business at Prince George’s College and later worked as an Appeals Analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Health Program, both in Washington, DC and in Northern California. Since moving to St. Croix, she has worked as an office manager for her husband’s Orthopedic Surgery practice for 32 years. The Pedersen’s are proud parents of four wonderful adult children in a happy blended family that now includes three grandchildren. They raised their youngest son, Brian, on the island until he graduated from Country Day School in 2001.

Outside of long days (and most weekends) in Mrs. Pedersen’s office, she has graciously opted to give back to the community in various capacities. Her commitment to the St. Croix Country Day School began when her son started nursery school in 1986 and it has grown stronger through the current transition to the new school, Good Hope Country Day School. Mrs. Pedersen is extremely proud to be a part of this governing board where she has witnessed amazing strength, integrity and good faith in joining forces with her fellow board members. She stands united with her associated board members in their strive to do the right thing for all GHCDS children and the community. She believes the board has set a great example for GHCDS’ children and St. Croix by conjoining two great schools to become one awesome entity for education.

Laurence Richards

Laurence J. Richards is a Senior Project Manager with the general construction firm GEC, LLC where he manages construction as well as business development and corporate operations.  His professional experience also includes serving as Managing Director of Stanford Caribbean Investments, LLC; Vice President of Real Estate Development with Century Housing Corporation in Los Angeles, California; Bond Program Manager for Del Terra Construction Group in City of Industry, California; and as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps. He is a licensed Civil Engineer in California and the US Virgin Islands, and also a licensed general contractor in California. His education includes a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Auburn University in 1993, a Master of Science from the University of Maryland in 1998, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 2003. He and his wife, Nataki, are the parents of two Good Hope Country Day School students (Classes of 2021 and 2025). He is serving his fourth term on the Board of Trustees.

Dave Ridgway

Dave Ridgway is the proud parent of a Good Hope School 2002 graduate and a Country Day School 2004 graduate. He is serving his second term on the Board of Trustees.

Angel Tirado
Kye Walker

Kye Walker is the founder of the Walker Legal Group. She is admitted to practice law in the Virgin Islands, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. She is a former judicial law clerk to Justice Maria M. Cabret, in her former capacity as Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. Attorney Walker was also Managing Counsel of the 27th Legislature of the Virgin Islands. She is a 2001 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.