GHCDS Alumni Holiday Greetings!
December 22, 2016
Alumni News! 1.18.17
January 17, 2017
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Dear Parents:

Happy 2017! We hope you had a wonderful break and are re-charged and ready for an exciting second semester ahead.

One of the highlights for me over the break was seeing the activity up at our swimming pool. On a Tuesday morning at 6am, the lanes were filled with students and young alumni perfecting their strokes and pushing their conditioning. It was a treat to see such critical mass of disciplined athletes working with each other and their coaches to improve. Later over the break, several college teams joined their ranks, including the women’s team from Harvard. It was an excellent opportunity for our young athletes to interact with competitive scholar athletes at the next level. All of this culminated with the Sea Swim on Sunday, which was a celebration among the larger community.

The Dolphins (St. Croix Swimming Association) deserve enormous praise for their growing efforts to build such a strong program that includes these critical elements:

  • Structured, well-organized training for all ages
  • Parent involvement and support
  • Connections with colleges
  • Regional, national, and international competitions (Some swimmers even will be competing this weekend up in New York City and visiting NYU and Columbia!)

I hope over time we can add these same elements to all our programs at GHCDS!

Have a wonderful three-day weekend!



  • Hot Topics in Education

  • Quick Announcements

  • ¡Gracias! Merci! Thank You!

  • Around Campus

  • Parents’ Association

  • Key Dates

Hot Topics in Education

“Literature in the Age of Google” By Janet Alsup, Winter 2017, Independent School Magazine. With so much focus these days on STEM (Science Tech Engineering Math), here is a nice article that reminds us of the importance of the humanities and literature.

Quick Announcements

Box Tops

Kathy Mackay, our GHCDS Boxtops for Education Coordinator, would like to pick up all Boxtops from the office on Thursday, January 19th. Please submit by 2:30 that day. While there are no contests this year, this can be a significant amount of money for the Parents’ Association.

Middle School Report Cards

Middle School Report Cards go home on Friday with students.  Advisors have guided students in reviewing their report cards, highlighting areas of strength and pinpointing areas where improvement is needed. Students set goals, articulate plans to achieve these goals, consider obstacles that might get in the way of achieving these goals as well as  ways to overcome these obstacles.   Students have prepared to conduct home based conferences, and parents are asked to set aside twenty minutes for this purpose.   There is a place on the student goal sheet for parents to write comments and to request conferences.  Goal sheets are due back to advisors on Tuesday morning.  The Middle School Awards Assembly will be held Thursday, January 19th at 2:15 pm.

Friday Gathering

The bronze cat sculpture created by Artist, Tom Elicker, in honor of Mrs. Tobias,  has arrived and is in the process of being installed.  We will gather on Friday, January 20th, at 8:00 am as part of our Friday Gathering to unveil the statue and come together in song.

¡Gracias! Merci! Thank You!

A message of gratitude from the family of the late Asa O’Neal, GHCDS’16

Dear GHCDS Faculty, Staff, and Community,

It is difficult to find the words to adequately express our gratitude for the many kindnesses you have shown us during this trying time.

We are so grateful for all you have done for us and for Asa through the years. The cards, letters, phone and email messages, prayers, and visits meant a great deal to us as we struggled with our heartbreaking loss. Along with the emotional support you gave us, your thoughtful tributes and other gifts of your time and energy helped sustain us day to day.

We are unable to write individual thank yous to each one of you, given the great outpouring of support. Please know that your generosity and thoughtfulness have touched us deeply.

Knowing that we were not alone helped us bear our grief and sadness. Thank you for being there for us.

With sincere thanks,

The O’Neal Family

Around Campus

Justice Sotomayor Visits St. Croix

On February 8, 2017, the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, will appear at a program attended by a representative group of St. Croix high school students from the public, private and parochial schools. The program will be held at the St. Croix Educational Complex Auditorium. Forty high school students from Ms. Guerra’s and Mr. Fletcher’s class will participate in the program, which will be structured in a question and answer format. Justice Sotomayor will be answering questions posed by the students. We look forward to participating in this very exciting educational opportunity.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, born of Puerto Rican parentage in the Bronx, New York, is the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic descent and the third female Justice in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School where she served as an editor on the Yale Law Journal. She thereafter served as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and as an associate and then partner at Pavia & Harcourt in New York City. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where she served from 1992-1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009, following her nomination by President Bill Clinton. On May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she assumed that role on August 8, 2009.

The high school event in which we will be participating is one in a series of activities at which Justice Sotomayor will be the featured guest during her visit to the Virgin Islands from February 7-10, 2017. Justice Sotomayor’s visit to the Territory results from an invitation extended by the Honorable Wilma A. Lewis, Chief Judge of the District Court of the Virgin Islands, in celebration of the Transfer Day Centennial, and will be hosted by the District Court. For additional information regarding Justice Sotomayor’s activities during her visit, please visit the District Court’s website at

Discounted advance tickets are on sale for $18. Students can purchase advance discounted tickets before or after school in 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Dykstra’s room. Tickets at the door are $20 however advance purchase is appreciated.

Please give a warm welcome to our new and returning families.

  • Keely Scott and James Benton Nursery: Ayla Benton.
  • Jamie and Nate Werner Kinder: Charlotte; 5th grade: Athena; 8th grade: Riley
  • Barbie and Clayton  Kohl 5th grade: Lola; 8th grade: Dawson; 9th grade: Atlee
  • Katherine and Steven Hardee 7th grade: Steven; 11th grade: Sarah
  • Kelly and Jeff Klempen 6th grade: JJ; 9th grade: Lucy; 11th: Kate
  • Brandy and Robert White 10th grade: Avery
  • Cynthia and Jeffrey Crook 11th grade: Sage


This Week In Second Grade

The class began their Information Books in Writer’s Workshop with great enthusiasm!  So far they have learned to organize their book with a Table of Contents, and to write about each subtopic as a chapter.  They also used illustrations to guide them in their organization and writing process.

In Science, students learned about the characteristics of plant pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and bats.  Then they paired up to design and build a plant pollinating tool!  The ideas and tools generated from this lesson will be used in the GHCDS Agfair display this year!

In math, students counted coins and learned to break apart digits to make subtracting easier.  They also worked in pairs using Unifix cubes to solve subtraction problems.

The class began Unit 7 in FUNdations and learned about open syllables.  They practiced dictations and learned 6 new trick words!

Congratulations NHS Inductees

The Good Hope Country Day School John B. Faile Chapter of the National Honor Society, was honored to induct 20 new members to the Society on Tuesday, Jan. 10, in a ceremony in the Pavilion. Parents, family, faculty and friends gathered to celebrate, with guiding words from NHS President Kira Griffith,  officers Eva Taylor, Sylvana Montealegre Hutchins and Christopher Ashley, and Head of School,Mr. Loya. The NHS looks forward to setting the example for all students to uphold the four pillars of Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character.

Alexandra Starr, Bianca Patterson, Caroline Flavia, Crystal Fahie, Danielle Coleman, Izhani Rosa, Jada Romer, Jade Bryan, Darien D’Amour, Jelena Vialet, Jenna Canegata, Ly’Nese Setorie, Mary wessel, Rachel Conhoff, Ella Brownsdon, Rose Kleeger, Thalia Hendricks, Timothy Nguyen, Webster Bozzo


Key Dates

  • January 16: MLK Day – No School
  • January 30 & 31: Auditions for Spring Musical: The Drowsy Chaperone
  • February 6-10: Science Fair week
  • February 17: Faculty workshop Day #3 – No School
  • February 20: President’s Day – No School
  • February 25: Black and Gold Gala

This Week in Sports


Happy New Year, Panther Families!

I need to step away from my usual format this week to share a story with you.  This Week in Sports will be listed at the end.

The Athletic Department had the most amazing, inspiring, touching, hardworking and So Panther Incredible holiday break! As you know, Coach Floyd and I set out to break down our old gym floor and rebuild our court to be dedicated to Asa O’Neal. Our maintenance staff was committed to a huge library project, but we were determined to do it with Panther grit and spirit, as the Class of 2015 gave us the court, and the Class of 2016 gave us the funds to repair and rebuild it. We asked several students, coaches and alumni to help. They did so much more than that!

“Thank you” seems inadequate for the time, sweat and love our Panthers, former and present, put into this new home for our athletes. Many stepped off planes from college and jumped into work clothes to churn concrete, take apart and remove our old court, scrub and sweep, then grab a crowbar to crack crates, haul and place new flooring, sweep, mop, shovel, and drill. They gave their all to give something beautiful and lasting to our Black and Gold future. We started on December 22nd and finished on January 7th. I can’t thank Our Fabulous Coach Floyd enough, who wore the Foreman hat! His character and heart can be seen in every detail.

Please watch and listen with your athletes so that they may get a sense of what went into The Court That Love Built:

To these Incredible Panthers, thank you for giving us “Something Amazing”…YOU! We are forever grateful, and forever proud to call you family:

Jacob Anderson

Jordan Lake

Hasani Lynch

Christian Santiago
Firas Idheileh

Ihab Idheileh

Sydney Fleming
Aaron Fleming
Thalia Hendricks
Sylvana Montealegre-Hutchins
Ly’Nese Setorie
Chloe Phillips-Hayden
The Salamah Family
Marshall McCormick
Jordan Bernhardt
Coach Lishati-Shumba Bailey
Coach Marcus Christian-Hendrickson
Devin Boyd
Blake Carter
Riis Motta
Hailey Coates
Michael Farrante
Kenan Massicott
Norman Rogiers
Jelena Vialet
The spirit of Asa O’Neal-every day cheering us on!

Special thanks to the GHCDS Administration for their support, Hadyn Fleming and Fleming’s Transport for storing and delivering our court, The Virgin Islands Volleyball Federation for offering us a top quality Sport Court at a beyond generous, extremely discounted price, Felix Lima and our maintenance staff for providing support and help with cleanup, Jolynn Grace and our Development Department for assisting with the design of Asa’s dedication, and Lea Wilson for an awesome lunch for our volunteers.


Games This Week:

  • Elementary Basketball Wednesday-TBA Playoffs Round One

Practices This Week:

  • Elementary Boys Basketball: Monday only 3:15-4:15 Slab
  • Middle School Basketball- Tuesday and Thursday 3:15-4:30 Slab.
  • JV Basketball-Monday and Wednesday 4:15-5:30 Slab
  • Varsity Basketball- Tuesday and Thursday 4:15-5:30 Slab-Boys at Coach Baker’s house-his schedule
  • Preseason Track and Field: Thursday and Friday 3:15-4:30 lower field
  • Preseason JV Soccer 3:15-4:30 lower field Friday.


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