We did it! We did it! We rebounded from a devastating hurricane season and finished the year strong. We should all be grateful for our good fortune. It is important that everyone have an opportunity to recharge this summer.
The school year officially ended Tuesday evening with our 8th Grade Celebration—my favorite event of the year. Our middle school team does an extraordinary job putting on a production that is tight, polished, classy, collaborative, and personalized for each student. It is such a fitting culmination to their middle school experience. And for our last BAM! (Better After Maria) story of the year (won’t you miss these??):
- Pavilion Video Broadcasts. Thanks to our Director of Technology (Steve Minten) and our Director of Facilities (Felix Lima), we were able to pilot video footage of the 8th grade celebration (there are roughly six videos in 10-minute increments):
- Next year we hope to offer video streaming and archives of Friday gatherings, special assemblies, concerts, and other performances. Working parents and extended family (think grandparents!) should really enjoy this. BAM!!
Lastly, I wanted to follow up regarding my email to parents on Wednesday addressing earlier inaccurate information about the School’s role in St. Croix’s Gay Pride Parade and Olympics on Saturday. This is a topic that has sparked many responses from within our School community as well as some vocal responses from the greater island community. It is more precise, though, to talk about our School communities and our island communities. As an independent school, it is critical that we recognize there is not just one community or “tone” in our School—there are many. Like a great conductor, we strive to listen to all the tones and bring out the best of the clarinet and the rest of the woodwinds, the best of the cello and the rest of the strings, the best of the French horn and the rest of the brass, the best of the timpani and the rest of the percussion.
To ensure this symphonic perspective, I made sure that my approach to understanding the situation and that my email to communicate this understanding could be used regardless of the political nature of the event or the sponsoring organization—from the far left to the far right. We simply needed to clarify quickly that GHCDS was not the sponsor of Event A and GHCDS would not be hosting Event A on campus.
That said, it’s important to highlight that one of the new student clubs on campus this year was PRISM: Queers & Allies, whose mission is to promote inclusiveness at School and on Island, regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, through advocacy, education, and action. An unintended consequence of my corrective email was that some of our students and families felt like we were denying the existence of their brave efforts, including their individual volunteer help with the organization of Saturday’s Gay Pride Parade and Olympics. I apologize—that was not my intent. On the contrary, we encourage and celebrate the efforts of all of our students, including our students in PRISM, to find causes they care about, and to have the courage to take action, often in the face of great resistance or pressure, to try as our mission states, “to better their island and the world.” We encourage them to pursue these passions whether officially as part of School clubs and organizations or unofficially on their own.
We also hope that our students and School continue to model for others respect for different perspectives and thoughtful discussion. It is clear that our Island and our World desperately need more leaders with these characteristics.
Thank you for being part of our family.
Have a wonderful summer,
Please note that we are no longer collecting cans in the student parking lot.
GHCDS Job Opening – Upper School Math Teacher 2018-19
Congratulations Class of 2018
Salutatorian Speech 2018
Valedictorian Address 2018
Head Graduation Remarks 2018
GHCDS Spirit Award!
The Spirit Award is granted to the Upper School student that embodies the spirit of GHCDS-through positive attitude, sportsmanship and support. It is voted upon by all Upper School students who participated in any GHCDS team or club. This includes drama, music, sports, and academic groups. This year’s deserving recipient, presented by Ms. Grey and Mr. Loya, is Rachel Conhoff!
Happy Pride Month to GHCDS Families, Friends, Faculty and Alumni,
My name is Lea Wilson, and I am the GHCDS Prism: Q&A Advisor. It is my understanding that there has been some concern regarding our group, who we are and what we do. Hopefully, I can answer some of these questions, and allay any concerns.
GHCDS Prism: Q&A
“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” ~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos
According to Merriam-Webster, a prism is: a transparent body that is bounded in part by two nonparallel plane faces and is used to refract or disperse a beam of light
GHCDS Prism: Queers & Allies, was founded in 2017 by students who sought to come together to embrace inclusivity and diversity, foregoing restrictive labels which are frequently used to place individuals into convenient categories – this is the single beam of light. By acknowledging that each of us are multi-faceted beings, we seek to know and accept others through the full spectrum of visible light, celebrating the thousands of shades and tints that make each individual uniquely wonderful, thus the prism.
The mission of Prism Q&A is to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students of the Good Hope Country Day School regardless of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. We will work to end queerphobia and prejudice on campus and in our community through advocacy, education, and action. Together we will encourage a more positive, diverse, and unified atmosphere across the spectrums of gender and sexuality.
Each year, in the month of June, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan and highlight issues that LGBT+ members still face (see Library of Congress link for more history, information and Executive and Legislative documents https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/ ).
There are 3 common events that are usually held on separate days in June, the Pride Parade, which is for everyone, the Dyke March, a protest march for the rights of queer women and nonbinary people, and the Trans Day of Action (or visibility), which is a rally for trans and gender non-conforming folks.
This year, St. Croix Pride, along with local businesses, groups ad supporters, have worked hard to create a calendar of Pride Month events that are inclusive and fun! The events are meant to be a celebration of our exceptional St. Croix community, which regardless of gender, race, religion or sexuality, we are all a part.
Countries across the world recognize their own pride months, and tomorrow, on June 9th, as we gather in Fredriksted to enjoy a day of camaraderie, diversity, unity, and celebration, other participants across the country will be doing the same – from Boston to Hollywood, from Alaska to Albuquerque we all will be joyfully celebrating! Hope to see you there!
Education as Celebration
Moveable Feast – A 1920’s Parisian Café Extravaganza
Each spring, once the College Board exam is behind us, my AP English Literature students and I fall through the proverbial rabbit’s hole, only to emerge in the City of Lights circa 1925, during the hey-day of le Années Folles (“the crazy years”). Previous to our visit, utilizing every conceivable resource available, my students marinate their minds and imaginations in High Modernism and the cultural zeitgeist of 1920’s Paris; a time that witnessed what was arguably the greatest flourishing of the arts and literature during the 20th century. Choosing from the literary and artistic avant-garde of the times, each student adopts a Paris-in-the-20s alter ego (be it Ernest Hemingway or Zelda Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali or Josephine Baker etc) and begins preparing to play his or her part during our unit-culminating event: Moveable Feast—A Parisian Café extravaganza.
The unit is designed to be a collaborative, interdisciplinary partnership between the English, French and Art departments. Inside the café, student-produced paintings in the Modernist styles of Picasso, Dali, Matisse etc. are on display and become conversation pieces, while French students play the parts of waiters and waitresses.
On the morning of the event, the interior of the school library is magically transformed into the Bataclan Café in Paris’ 11th arrondissement in 1925, and is then filled with the cultural illuminati: the expatriate writers, poets, painters, fashion designers and musicians who flocked to Paris in the wake of World War I. Classes reserve tables in the café and come to witness and participate in an interactive, spellbinding performance that attempts to recreate the texture and feel of the times. Music, dancing, Cubist & Surrealist painting, French puns, bawdy humor, double entendre and a healthy abundance of pithy literary and artsy chit‐chat are supplemented by fancy French pastries and faux espresso as my students magically transport all of us to the Paris of Ernest Hemingway and Josephine Baker.
In its third year, our Parisian Café event has begun to take on the resonance of a bona fide school tradition and is already one that underclassman talk about and look forward to participating in as seniors. For me, something truly magical happens on the morning of event. My students don’t just to “visit” a Paris of the past, they BECOME it. I like to call this “learning from the inside.” Every time I have taught this unit, it seems to teach me that education can be, and perhaps should be, a celebration.
Eighth Grade Celebration!
Second Graders ended the school year with a fun-tastic craft, celebrating the classic story of Charlotte’s Web.
Lower School Panther Field Day!
Another fabulous Panther Field Day! Students in grades 1-6 spent the afternoon splashing, dashing, egg tossing, lime balancing, ice passing and team building! Many thanks to Coach Floyd, Ms. Blanchette and Ms. Malerie Gleason for helping Coach Amy provide this fun filled afternoon.
4th grade pauses to flash smiles on the last day of school. It’s been a great year! Enjoy your summer!
Fourth Grade Celebration Festivities!
Intermediate Grades Awards Assembly
Students in grades 5 and 6 were recognized for exemplifying the school’s four core values: scholarship, respect, integrity and citizenship. The also received awards for their accomplishments in music, art, computer and athletics.
By Chris Fletcher, Class of 2001
Andrew Ross was my classmate, and one of my best friends growing up. He taught me how to laugh so hard that you cry. On November 7th of our senior year, he died in an alcohol-related car crash, and the Class of 2001 was reduced from 30 amazing individuals to 29. He was only 17.
We played on the Private School Pirates tackle football team together, and during the drills where you run through a series of closely-aligned used car tires, he would inevitably keep tripping and falling down, and we chided him for waddling like a duck. And thus his nickname “Ducky” was born. One of our class gifts was the ducky ride which continues to grace the preschool playground to this day, as well as his memorial bench right outside my classroom.
Country Day School started the annual tradition of giving each new student driver a rubber ducky, as a symbol of achievement at their newfound independence, but also a poignant reminder to use this enhanced mobility with utmost care and caution, as no other hazard or behavior comes close to claiming as many teen lives as driving. Keep this little reminder in your vehicle, maybe even on your dashboard, as a way not only to remember Andrew’s name, but also to remember that little voice inside each of our heads to always make good decisions.
Video: “The Courage to Say No,” which features three area high school students talking about why they don’t drink, and testimony from Jackie Holt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyEHQ5KC1Kc
The final Senior class assembly is a chance for the class to recognize the faculty and staff that made a difference in their time at CDS, GHS. and GHCDS. It is a special and moving celebration of well deserved love and appreciation.
The GHCDS Parents’ Association needs you!
This Week In Sports
Hi Panther Families!
On Monday we enjoyed our yearly tradition of finishing the year with the Alumni Student Soccer Match. This year our elders came out on top, but I think a few had some muscles screaming after taking on our Varsity players! After a well fought evening game, it was fun to share stories and catch up with all our Falcons, Tigers and Panthers.
From left to right: Isaiah Stevens-GHCDS’19, Kenan Massicot-GHCDS’14, Zack Bozzo-GHCDS’19, Zacharie Adams-CDS’15, Todd Gentilucci-GHCDS’ 03, Nayan Bansal-GHCDS’19, David Conhoff-GHCDS’19, John David-GHCDS’19, Quincy King-GHCDS’19, Christopher Ashley-GHCDS’17, Jamari Venzen- GHCDS’14 , Mathew Mays-GHCDS’17, Chris Fletcher-CDS’01, Jack Duggan-CDS’15, Lishati Shumba Bailey-CDS’03, Jason Williams, CDS’05
What a year we’ve had in Panther Sports! I’m so proud to report that we brought home the following championship wins:
Elementary Flag Football
- Elementary Boys Team win
- Elementary Girls Team win
- JV Girls Team win
- Best Overall: Mason Lambert, Michael Dizon-Bumann, Kelsey Bhola and Rachel Conhoff
Varsity Girls Volleyball
To know that we achieved all of this under the most difficult circumstances is an amazing feeling as an Athletic Director. I could not be more proud of our athletes and coaches, and not just the championship winning teams, but each team that graced a playing field, race course or court! When we set goals for next year, we’ll need to remember the dedication and determination we brought to this year and it’s challenges, and then we’ll just have to kick it up a notch, because we can!
Pictured above is our first Championship winning team for 2017-2018 with their medals, our Elementary Flag Football Panthers.
Thank you, Panther Families, for all you do to support our athletes and our program. We couldn’t do it without you!
Have a great summer, and Go Panthers!