This is a big week at GHCDS—the week of Mini-Gusto! As most of you know and experienced first-hand, it is an opportunity to participate in internships, excursions, and activities on and off island to explore passions, learn new skills, and have fun. What’s not to like?
Every morning, every lunch hour, and every afternoon this week I’ve gotten a jolt of energy from hearing the amazing things our students in grades 7-12 have been doing. We have students catching air and defying gravity with their kite boards, completing fern pyramids as part of service work at the botanical gardens, earning their PADI certification with dives off the wall and under the pier, strumming the six-string to enhance their serenading abilities, competing in sailing regattas off the coast of San Diego, improving their marksmanship with firearms and archery, adding beautiful touches to campus murals, and so much more! I am very excited to look at the daily student journals and final summary reflections after spring break to see how our students have processed their experiences and what they have learned. It should be inspiring!
Now is also the time when we begin looking at staffing for next year—and hiring talented alumni is a top priority. We are currently looking for excellent candidates for the following roles:
Please feel free to share this with your classmates and friends.
Finally, it was great to see so many of our alumni at the beautiful Black and Gold Gala last month at the Carambola Resort, and fun to connect earlier this month with a handful of graduates in the DC Area when Ms. Grey, Ms. Blanchette, and I attended the NAIS Conference in nearby Baltimore. Be sure to swing by the School to say hello when you are on island!
As part of a recent trip to Baltimore to attend the National Association of Independent School’s annual conference, Head of School Kari Loya, Upper School Head Dawn Grey, and Lower/Middle School Head Denise Blanchette met with alumni in the greater D.C. area. Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett generously hosted the reception in her office near the Capitol building. The event included one of the School’s most recent graduates from the Class of 2016 and even a current second grader! We look forward to connecting more graduates with each other and with the School ahead.
On March 13th, our forty-first (XXXXI) annual “Mini-Gusto” program began with full force! For five days middle and upper school students pursued special electives designed to provide new, rewarding experiences outside the classroom and even off-island. This five-day block of Mini-Gusto provides all students an opportunity to broaden their scope of experience. Students are advised to select a course that either adds a new experience or offers an opportunity to learn a new skill. As many of you remember, this is one of the highlights of the entire school year. The opportunities range from introducing students to activities such as golf, kayaking, SCUBA diving, kiteboarding to internships with nephrologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, attorneys, and local jewelers and even off island cultural trips. If you have opportunities or experiences that might be of value to our students please contact Ms. Thatcher in our college counseling office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Something Meaningful for Asa” was the mantra for a group of Howard University Students led by Jordan Lake GHCDS ’16 who traveled to St. Croix from Washington DC over their Spring Break to do community service projects in honor of their friend, Asa O’Neal GHCDS ’16. The Howard University students collaborated with GHCDS, St. Croix Environmental Association and Project Promise to do a number of projects that ranged from painting, cleaning beaches, to helping to build a memorial garden at Juan F. Luis Hospital for grieving mothers who have lost their children. Asa’s story and the acts of kindness inspired Project Promise to dedicate the garden to Juan F. Luis Hospital in honor of Asa O’Neal. These students are a reminder of how deeply we can impact one another and how far we will go to help each other heal. We are very proud and honored to have such impactful alumni who are dedicated to making a difference in our community and the world.
Meet Sissel Holloway CDS ’08, one of our alums out there making the world a healthier place! We caught up with Sissel recently and asked her if she could share with us some favorite memories or special teachers from her time at St. Croix Country Day School.
Can you share with us a special teacher that might have impacted your life?
Theresa Harper was probably my favorite because she got me into the whole triathlon/running scene and I wouldn’t be where I am athletically if it weren’t for her.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
Favorite memory was definitely senior prank day when we managed to get the golf cart in Mr. Minton’s classroom and we all got punished and had to paint the science building!
Check out Sissel’s Bio from Hood River Chiropractic & Wellness:
Dr. Sissel Holloway knew she wanted to pursue a career as a sports chiropractic physician when she experienced her first serious injury at age 17 while playing soccer. As a former professional, collegiate and recreational athlete, her skill set translates with identifying with the athletic population. Her participation in the Sports Medicine Master’s program at the University of Western States provided her with the basic knowledge and experience necessary to treat the wide breadth of age groups and sports related injuries. Dr. Holloway’s tools consist of a wide variety of chiropractic manipulation techniques, functional movement-based assessments, rehabilitation, and soft tissue techniques including instrument-assisted, cupping, and active myofascial release.
Dr. Holloway was born in Svendborg, Denmark and was raised in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. She competed at an international level while representing the US Virgin Islands in soccer and triathlon. During her collegiate years, she was involved in both cross-country and track and field. Currently, ultra-endurance trail running has become her new passion as she competes in races throughout the Pacific Northwest. The small town vibe and explosive athletic scene in Hood River reminds her of the Virgin Islands and this is what drew her to this location.
After leaving the US Virgin Islands, Dr. Holloway attended Springfield College, Massachusetts and graduated with her Bachelor’ degree in Sports Biology. She then decided to further her education in Portland, Oregon where she simultaneously completed both a Doctorate of Chiropractic and a Masters in Sports Medicine at the University of Western States.
Check out more on Dr. Sissel Holloway at http://www.hoodriverchiropractic.com/new-blog/meet-sissel
In 2008, I graduated from Good Hope School and moved to New York City to attend Pratt Institute for Fashion Design. During my first semester at Pratt I decided to re-apply to Parsons School for Design which was my 1st choice and ideal school to attend but got rejected after my first application in high school.
In 2009, I transferred to Parsons for a First Year study since I was unsure after a year in New York if I wanted to be a Fashion Designer but wanting to still work in the creative industry. While I was at Parsons I enjoyed the approach of the school which gave me a diverse experience and enabled me to envision a path beyond the confines of a single discipline within art and design.
In 2010, while I was studying at Parsons I decided to start an internship at Bismarck Phillips which is a leading public relations firm in New York. It was such a great learning experience that gave me insight on the fashion industry to understand all the different roles from Designer, Editor/Stylist, Casting Director and Producer. During the summer I started interning for Stylist Keegan Singh on projects for Eddie Borgo, Equipment, and SHOWStudio that lead to my interest in being a Fashion Stylist.
Throughout 2010, I had this obsession with the artistry and stardom of pop musician Lady Gaga and I wanted to work for the person that was the creative mind behind her visionary look which was Stylist and Creative Director Nicola Formichetti. During the summer I networked and connected with people working within the fashion industry that connected me to his studio for an internship. I had my interview with Brandon Maxwell who was Nicola’s assistant at the time and now a leading Creative Director for his namesake brand. My interview with Brandon Maxwell was very inspiring which led me to working for Nicola’s studio right away on developing the visuals for Lady Gaga’s album ‘Born This Way’. In Fall 2010 I was juggling this incredible internship and going to school simultaneously which was very stressful but eventually led to me to withdraw from Parsons as I thought the experience working under Nicola would have been more valuable for my career.
For 2 years I worked as a fashion assistant to Nicola on campaigns for Uniqlo, Mavi, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Mugler. On fashion editorials for Magazines like Elle Magazine, i-D, Dazed, V Magazine, VMan, Vogue Hommes Japan, and Vanity Fair. On campaigns, music videos, press events, and tour for Lady Gaga. I was able to work on productions for great photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Inez & Vinoodh. While working for him I got a strong perception of how to be creative within different levels of Entertainment and Fashion. My favorite experiences working for him has been working on the ‘Born This Way’ video which I got to meet one of my favorite photographers Nick Knight and my all-time favorite fashion model Raquel Zimmermann. Another experience which I will never forget was working on Gaga’s ‘Fame’ perfume campaign and video which was shot in Los Angeles at Paramount studios. The entire production was working for 4 days with no sleep which made it feel so surreal since I was basically on a movie set and one of my favorite movie directors Ridley Scott was Executive Producer.
In Fall 2012, Nicola gave me the opportunity to creatively organize the concept for an Elle Magazine shoot with Kim Kardashian. My first experience working with Kim was so delightful and gave me a sense of courage to realize I could be a stylist on my own. After leaving my position at Nicola’s studio, Kim offered me to consult and style looks for her reality TV show and press events from 2013 – 2014. My favorite moment styling her was for Jimmy Kimmel Live on August 2014 in a look from Ulyana Sergeenko.
From 2013 – 2016, I have styled fashion editorials for magazines like Bullett, D’Scene, V Magazine, VMan, Schon, Maxim, Vice Magazine, and SHOWStudio. Also fashion presentations for H&M and Target. http://models.com/people/julien-alleyne
In 2016, I was introduced to supermodel Irina Shayk and got the opportunity to style her for Sports Illustrated press events and red carpet events during European fashion weeks. My favorite moment styling her was for Sports Illustrated red carpet event in a look from my favorite fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa which was a privilege for me since I’ve admired him from a young age.
In 2015, I started my own consulting company for Casting, Styling and Visual Direction called Paradisus Life which focuses on Creativity, Diversity and Sustainability. I work on projects with emerging photographers, brands and model agencies to build identities and develop content that is socially driven. I ultimately want to build this company into a leading trademark to develop platforms for emerging advocates and talents to collaborate with lifestyle brands on global initiatives.
At such a young age, I have experienced so much that makes me appreciative of having the opportunities to build my portfolio but also expanding my creative vision to develop the future that I want. My foundational experience at Good Hope School nurtured my extensive viewpoint of culture and equipped my instinct of wanting to learn more about the world especially through Mrs. Biddle’s art classes which gave me an interest in conveying creativity through different mediums like advertising and film. I am passionate for what the future holds for me and my role on the transformation of the world to come.