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Weekly News – 2.01.20



Dear parents and students,

The 2020 Science Fair was a resounding success.  During the three-day event (Jan. 28-30), students, parents, and community members perused nearly 200 projects spread out across the pavilion. Congratulations to Marcus Curran and Cooper Crowther, who won first place in the Upper School, and Nathan Langley, who took first place in the Middle School. A hearty thanks to Science Fair Coordinator Jane Coles, Upper School science teacher Laurie Dunton, and Upper School ILEAP Coordinator Dr. Jeff Turk.

This edition of GHCDS Weekly News is chock-full of news items and photos covering over 20 topics, including:

  • Science Fair: full results
  • 3rd graders celebrate nonfiction (today’s featured photo, above)
  • Rotary Vocational Service Award: Congratulations to Roger Summerhayes
  • Upcycling by 3rd and 4th graders
  • Masquerade dance in the Middle School
  • Kindness Week in 2nd grade
  • Psychology students model the brain
  • Summer programs for high school students

In addition, make sure you see Athletic Director Amy Carter’s post on this week’s sports.

Please be sure to mark your calendars for:

  • Peter and the Starcatcher (spring musical), Feb. 27, 28, March 1, 6, 7
  • Mini-gusto XLIII, March 9 – 13

Finally, I am pleased to announce the formation of two new faculty committees, which will convene beginning next week.  The Academic Committee will be the advisory and planning committee for academic matters at GHCDS. Among other things, it will advise the administration regarding all academic matters at GHCDS and will lead the planning process for the creation of relevant, innovative and challenging academic programs.

The following faculty members and administrators will serve on the Academic Committee: Kate Baker, Josh Canning, Tracy Cole (chair), Jane Coles, Julie Crisler, Tonya Fitzgerald, Lynne Kenney, Alice Sackey-Jaffurs, Sonja Sundaram, Jeffrey Turk, Tracy Cole, Dawn Grey, Wendy Canning, and Nancy Thatcher.

The Student Life Committee will be our school’s advisory and planning committee for non-academic student matters. It will examine such areas as health and wellness, leadership, social events, community service, athletics, and extracurricular programming. Among other things, the committee will lead the planning process for the creation of relevant, innovative, and engaging student life programs at GHCDS.

The Student Life Committee will be composed of the following individuals: Amy Carter, Tracy Cole, Clarissa Cooper, Julie Crisler, Laurie Dunton, Dawn Grey, Kelsey Hill, David Kenney, Megan Lambert, Olga Lucia-Capriola, Sasha Marohn, Alice Sackey-Jaffurs, and Lea Wilson.

There is much work to do this spring in order to get ready for the new school year, and these two committees will be instrumental in helping us do that.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday, and have a great week.

Yours sincerely,

William Bugg, Head of School, Good Hope Country Day School


Quick Announcements:


In last week’s Weekly News, two students were not pictured in the recognition of Honor Roll status, but we are certainly proud of them: Wyatt Bracy, 9th grade, and Brielle Schindler, 9th grade. Congratulations!


Peter and the Starcatcher: Advertisers Sought

Interested in advertising in the production playbill? If so, please fill out the GHCDS Ad Order Form for Peter and the Starcatcher.


¡Gracias! Merci! Thank You! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration a Success

Thanks to all the students and faculty who helped make the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration a success last week! Special thanks go out to the Upper School students who led the Spoken Word: Layla Bradshaw, Miko Dizon-Bumann, N’Biko Bowry, Marcus Curran, Ariel Sutherland, D’asia Charles, Naurani Persaud, Larissa Sweeny, Shana Sargent, and Roxy Wallace. Kudos also to Joanna Nazos and her team of Middle School participants. And thank you especially to Lawrence Mullin, who spearheaded the presentation, as well as Suenita Banwaree and Stewart Shelley.


Science Fair 2020 Judges


Around Campus:

Science Fair Results – Congratulations to all!

Upper School

  • 1st: Marcus Curran and Cooper Crowther – Handwriting to Braille
  • 2nd: Amarion Gittens – Design Frequency vs. Overclocked CPU
  • 3rd: Khalil Francis – Generating Useful Heat with Calcium Chloride
  • Honorable Mention (HM): J.J. Klempen – What Decomposes Seaweed the Fastest?
  • HM: Imani Persaud and Amirah Yusef – Self Image
  • HM: James Bugg – Bouncing off the Walls

Middle School

  • 1st: Nathan Langley – It’s Electric
  • 2nd: Morgan Garner – Biotrash to Biogas
  • 3rd: Stuart Lewis – Soundproofing: Your Neighbors Love It
  • HM: Mason Lambert – Pedal Power
  • HM:Sam Chardon and Dylan Pauly-Becksted – Which Wing Design Produces the Most Lift?
  • HM:Lily Falconer – Rethink Your Drink


Celebrating Nonfiction

Third graders celebrated their writing of informational books by inviting parents and staff members for a special publishing event.  They studied mentor texts to learn how other authors use text features to teach about a topic and designed their books in similar ways.  They also completed and displayed biography projects after reading and learning about special people of interest.




Vocational Service Award – Well Done!

On Thursday, Jan. 30, Upper School Science teacher Roger Summerhayes received a special honor: the Vocational Service Award from the Rotary Club of St. Croix. Six others (including educators, entrepreneurs, and community activists) were presented with the honor as well for demonstrating “Service Above Self,” commitment to the community, and excellence in their profession.  Below, Mr.  Summerhayes accepts the award from David Beck, Secretary of the Rotary Club of St. Croix and a good friend of Mr. Summerhayes over the years. The two worked together for many years as martial arts instructors in Sansei-Isshin-ryu Karate at Sunsu Dojo in La Grande Princesse.

GHCDS parent Resa O’Reilly, founder and program developer of Project Promise, an organization dedicated to giving at-risk youth the tools and support they need to live healthy and successful lives, was among the honorees (see photo below).





Third and 4th grade students enjoyed turning found items into colorful, sparkly animals at Upcycling this week. These students have imagination plus! Lots of smiles and happy conversation were shared on the patio as six unique creations came to life!


Masquerade Madness in the Middle School!


On Saturday, Jan. 25, nearly every Middle School student attended the Masquerade Dance, in which students enjoyed dancing, socializing, and snacking on pizza and other goodies. Thank you to the Parents’ Association for putting on this excellent event.


Running Towards Greatness

Several Panther students, teachers, parents and coaches took part in some way this past Saturday in the St. Croix Scenic 50, a running race which offered a 50-mile, a 50-mile relay and 50K options.  Amid the track season where most runners are covering shorter distances, five Panthers spent hours preparing to complete a leg on a four-person relay.  The team of Josie Calhoon (junior), Miko Dizon-Bumann (senior), Carolyn Grimm (senior) and Cooper Crowther (junior) completed the 50-mile distance in 10:16:07.  Kelsey Bhola (senior) completed the 12-mile first leg on Team Jolly Roger in 2:30:00.  Saturday’s run was the longest any of the teammates had ever run in their lives; it was an experience and accomplishment that none of them will ever forget. Many GHCDS teammates, teachers and parents volunteered at aid stations and lent support to the runners.



Kindness:  the Greatest Wisdom

Second graders wrapped up an active Kindness Week with a special craft for teachers and administration: “Kindness is the greatest wisdom.”


Coin Drive Results!

As you may have heard or seen, the third graders had a coin drive to raise money for the Australian wildlife. They heard the devastating news about the wildfires and were particularly moved when they learned about the effects on the animals. They wanted to help and so they decided on a coin drive and have been learning and reading about the continent and its native animals this week. They made posters and collected change at drop off and pick up this week!  With your help, they raised $425.50! 

Here is a site with lots of information about the wildfires:


Fairy House Making

Students in grades 1-3 let their imagination unravel in the most creative and fun ways around our campus.


Polygons in Geometry

Geometry students use mirrors to construct polygons and then use their triangle tools to investigate the properties of those polygons. Photos: Opher Hasson with a rhombus, Frances Falcon and Imani Persaud with an equilateral triangle, Ally Bhola, Ariana Schwartz and Kenyon Jean-Baptiste measuring the central angles of their polygons.


Biology Students Extract DNA

Students completed the sections on DNA, RNA, Genetic Mutations, Karyotypes, and Pedigree Charts with a successful laboratory investigation to extract and observe DNA. Students studied different DNA extraction methods and elected to use onions for their experiment. After several days of reading preparation and group organization, they turned up the heat and were successful!

Andy Lee maintained 55-60 degree C water temperature

Jan Whyte used the enzyme mixture to help extract the DNA.

Necha Bishop added the alcohol to the DNA mixture to form a separation barrier.

Mikey Dizon views the DNA nucleotide strands!

Viscosity and elasticity is observed.


Casting Techniques

Forensic students lift the castings for dirt and sand that were created last week.  The students employed forensic cleaning techniques on both casts.

Kiki Alexander and Sean Low lift a dirt casting.

Gabe Capdeville cleans a sand casting.

Both castings are compared and excess medium is examined for trace evidence.


Social Break Time

9th Graders often play board games and complete puzzles during the daily 20 minute break period.

Pictured above: Necha Bishop, Tsehai Alfred, Mazen Yusuf, Justice Lawrence, and Jean Jacques Dongar


Have You Lost Your Brain?

Psychology students created Hemisphere Hats, a hands on approach to learning the parts and functions of the brain.

Students include: Quincy King, Layla Bradshaw, Rosei Simpson, Savanna Capdeville, Saisha Wesley, Carolyn Grimm, Lidia Boguslawska, Zack Bozzo, Mikey Dizon, Roxy Wallace, Aiden DaCosta and Christopher Cawley


Summer Opportunities for Upper School Students

There are 1,000s of summer programs for high school students each year and it’s not too early to begin thinking about how you will spend your summer!

Available around the globe, and even in your own backyard, summer programs are great!

Following is information from programs that have reached out to our school to advertise. The school does not promote or necessarily recommend these programs, we are just sharing information:

●      Yale Young Global Scholars:

●      National Student Leadership Conference (NYLC):

●      Savannah College of Art and Design:

●      Washington University in St. Louis Pre-college Programs:

●      University of Miami Summer Scholars Program: apply by Dec. 1 for application fee discount

●      Denison University, Reynolds Young Writers workshop: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction writers, current sophomores and juniors

●      Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies offers a variety of summer programs and some financial aid is available:

●      SAS, Summer at Smith, summer pre-college programs for young women at smith College:

●      Boston University Academy of Media Production, Program Info & Application Materials:

●      EF International Language Campus,, language immersion summer programs in many different countries

●      United States Coast Guard Academy AIM (Academy Introduction Mission) offers students a chance to experience a week at the Coast Guard Academy, to see if it could be a good fit. Visit

●      Pratt Institute for PreCollege Summer 2020, areas of concentration include: Architecture, Comic Book, Digital Arts, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Photography and more.

●      Rensselaer Poly Tech Pre-college Summer Engineering Program, rising 11th-12th grade students please get info and apply at

●      Savannah College of Art and Design (SACD), pre-college summer programs, rising 9th – 12th grades,,

●      University of Chicago Summer, high school students,

●      Adelphi University Summer Pre-college Program, choose from courses including Intro to Nursing, Business, Acting, Medical Research, Gender Studies and more,

●      Northeastern University Accelerate: Pre-college Programs, programs include: Bioengineering, Entrepreneurship, Exploring Modern Physics, Innovation in Health professions and more…

This list will be updated as more information comes in. Contact Ms. Thatcher for further information.


Parents’ Association

Dear GHCDS School Community,

In the last six weeks, we have surveyed parents, teachers and administration to find out what are the needs and wants of our GHCDS community. There have been so many good recommendations, including adding outdoor learning and meeting areas, upgrading our athletic and theater facilities, and providing funds for special learning experiences. With approximately $55,000 in available funds, we would like to support many of these initiatives.

Proposals for funds will be accepted over the next few months on a rolling basis from parents, students and faculty. Proposals may be for projects, activities, books, equipment or experiences that enhances the academic lives of children at the GHCDS. While preference is given to proposals that offer school-wide access to our school community, students, teachers and/or parents are also encouraged to submit proposals that will benefit their individual classrooms or grade levels.

The school administration will do the first review of proposals for content, appropriateness and to determine if alternate funding sources are available.  A sub-committee of the PA will then review requests.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please complete the Grant Request Form with appropriate documentation and submit it to the front office. We look forward to hearing about your project. If you have questions, please email them to


No clipping needed for Box Tops!  Now when families use the Box Tops app to scan their store receipt, they can “Give Credit” to GHCDS. To “Give Credit” make sure you have the latest version of the Box Tops app, scan your receipt, then tap the star icon to enter your “Give credit” memo. To download the app, click here.


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