December 21, 2018
January 18, 2019


Dear Alumni:

We are delighted to share with you our 2017-18 annual report. We are especially proud of this particular annual report—not just because of our remarkable story last year bouncing back after Maria—but because we celebrate nearly two dozen alumni who embody our mission.

Click here to view the 2017-18 Annual Report!

As you know, we now have over 2,000 talented graduates of Good Hope Country Day School and our two predecessor schools, The Good Hope School and St. Croix Country Day School, spanning the globe. It is always inspiring to hear the different paths our alumni have taken. I know you will enjoy reading about the journeys of alumni who graduated just last year and others who graduated several decades ago. Besides reflecting our mission, they all have enormous pride in the island of St. Croix.

On a practical note, one of our accomplishments this fall was to complete our scanning of all CDS and GHS transcripts. When alumni called to request transcripts, our college counselor, Ms. Thatcher, used to have to drive out to the Good Hope School campus to retrieve the files. Now our registrar, Ms. Alma Castro-Nieves, simply asks, “Which email can I send this to?” And two minutes later, the alum has the transcript.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen our alumni network. One of our trustees, Rhea Abrahmson ’92, is working with our advancement office to help build our alumni database. If you would like to help with this project, please contact Linda Stamper-Keularts at lstamperkeularts@ghcds.org   in the advancement office.

In the meantime, we wish you all happy holidays and look forward to seeing you back on campus when your schedules permit.

¡Felices Fiestas!


Look who we caught up with?

Marty Savard, GHS and CDS Faculty!

My story on St. Croix began in July 1974 when I arrived on a sailboat after 8 months of travel from Onset Harbor in Massachusetts.  It was hurricane season and time for work.  I was married at the time and my husband was a Chemical Engineer so he went to apply at Hess.  (That’s a whole other story as engineers just didn’t arrive at the refinery.)

The couple who took us on an interview dinner told me about Good Hope School and gave me the name of Sylvia Bibby, who was the Head of the Lower and Middle School.  They were in need of a 6th grade math/science teacher and I was fortunate enough to get offered the job.

This is where some of the fondest memories of my life began. Middle school functioned as a team of teachers all involved in providing the best possible combining of resources.  Our Headmaster was Barry Bunting and the whole K-12 school functioned exceptionally well under his direction.  For the first few years in 6th grade, my team consisted of Marilyn Whittington and then Luther Edwards.  Under the guidance of Mrs. Bibby and both of these talented and wonderful teachers, I was able to develop as a teacher. After a while, I moved to 7th/8th grade where I just taught math.  Now my team grew to include Kaye Dunn and Ralph Mazza.  Not only did our students learn a lot, we had lots of fun as well.  Group projects such as Drive America and electives like candle making and Tinikling (a dance of the Philippines done with bamboo poles) made for a wonderfully rich life.

The easiest way to describe these Good Hope years is to say we were a family all working towards a common goal of the best education that we could deliver.

In 1985 I moved to Country Day School and after one year in 6th grade, I moved to 7/8th grade math.  With Mrs. Margery Boulanger as Headmaster and Chip Adams as the Head of Lower and Middle School, I had 5 great years.  Again working with such wonderful people as Peggy Keylin, Wendy Albade, Ron Reed, Lynn Adams, Betty Nielsen and so many more!! 

Of course we all remember September 17, 1989, a day which changed many lives forever.  I completed that year at CCD under FEMA tarps and with big generators!   For a few years I had been volunteering at Lutheran Social Services on their Hotline/AIDSline.  I was offered a full time job as the director of the Hotline.  I was ready for a change so what followed is 12 years working in various positions at LSS. 

When I left St. Croix in 2001, it was with mixed emotions.  I loved the island and my life there, but it was again time for a change.  I moved to Port Charlotte, FL, got a job with the public schools and taught 8th grade math for a few years before I began teaching advanced math to TAG (talented and gifted students) in the 6th – 8th grade.  

I retired in 2015 ready for some rest and relaxation.  However, I still substitute during the school year.  It seems to me that the place I feel most comfortable and useful is in a classroom.

ALUMNI BRUNCH 2018 – Welcome Home Alumni!



Crystal Fahie – GHCDS`18

Crystal is interning at the Howard University School of Business.  She is student council treasurer and also works as an intern for Sodexo’s marketing department on campus! She was recently crowned Miss Howard University Caribbean Student Association!

Bobby Petersen-CDS`84

Bobby Petersen visits GHCDS campus and connects with his former teacher, Julie Crisler.

Congratulations Madeline Duggan – CDS`11!

Madeline Duggan celebrated her marriage on November 24, to Joe Stedman.

Alumni In the News

Kira Griffith
November 21st, 2018

When you were a child, what was your response to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

A doctor. My parents are doctors, and I’ve always seen them as superheroes — saving people’s lives every day through their work. Watching my parents dedicate their lives in the service of others inspired me from a very young age to do the same. Ultimately, I decided I could do this best through medicine.


“Can music change your brain?”

Share the pivotal moment in your life that helped you choose your field of study.

I grew up on the beautiful island of St. Croix, and one Christmas, my piano studio decided to take a trip to an elder care home to share our holiday spirit through music. The home was quiet, filled only with the sound and movement of the nurses carrying trays of food in and out of the kitchen. The residents were almost as still as statues — half of them unaware of why they were there, the other half nearing sleep. It was clear to all of us who had walked in to the room that these once bright and spirited individuals were losing the battle against the deteriorating effects of age on the mind.

But as soon as the music started to play, there was a noticeable brightness in their faces, and they began to move around. It was almost like watching Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” when the characters come to life! When I started to play “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” they started to sing, bob their heads, and play air piano throughout the song. It was something in that melody — the recognition of the song — that seemed to transform them and temporarily reverse time. In that moment, I realized that science and art could be combined to provide healing and therapy.

Griffith (center) and her family at church.

Griffith (center) with her family at church.

Tell us about a time you encountered a tricky problem. How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?

When I was a sophomore, I was in a leadership position that required me to coordinate the planning of several social events for the year. For one event collaboration, there was some miscommunication about responsibilities. To handle the situation, I spoke with everyone involved and created a new action plan for the future. This taught me the importance of clear communication within a team, which is especially relevant when it comes to research where there is constant collaboration happening among scientists around the globe. To develop solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, we must have clear, efficient communication among everyone involved.

What are your passions outside of science?

Music, reading, running, and leadership through the Residence Hall Association. In fact, if I didn’t have a passion for music outside of science in high school, I might not have discovered my passion for understanding music’s effects on the brain in my research! So, in some ways, one’s outside passions allow you to take a step back and see the bigger picture in order to think of novel ways to approach your life’s work.

Women in Science Wednesday highlights UNC researchers at all levels of their careers across dozens of fields. From medicine to mathematics to sociology, women at Carolina excel in research, mentorship, and advocacy. Click here to nominate an exceptional scientist.





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