“You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” That was the last line of the intro theme song to the classic 1980s television sitcom “Cheers.” This morning’s Friday gathering reminded me that GHCDS has that same magic. After part of her middle and upper school band performed a teaser of tonight’s holiday concert, Ms. Thompson held a musical Q&A with the audience in which she deftly called on a dozen students all by name. When other students straggled in just before the performance, our counselor, language teacher, and other classroom teachers greeted most of these students by name as well. GHCDS does an exceptional job of really knowing and caring for our students… we should be proud.
Speaking of pride, we are proud of our strong senior class, most of whom have completed their college applications. Some have already started to receive early offers from colleges. Many of our student applied Early Action so should be hearing from those schools shortly. In the meantime, we know this is an anxious time for senior parents—hang in there!—and we are confident that all of our students will have wonderful options for next year, thanks to the hard work of our college counselor Nancy Thatcher and the rest of our upper school faculty.
Today was the second year of our ILEAP Expo, where more than 20 upper school students presented what they have learned from their personal independent explorations. This approach represents some of the best trends in education today and allows some students to delve deeper into their passions while others can explore new areas. Our students are taking online courses in everything from sports physical therapy and trunk (chest, abdomen, pelvis) anatomy to Microeconomics and Conversational Thai. Dr. Turk (ILEAP Coordinator) and Mrs. Grey (upper school head) are already looking forward to the second semester ILEAP courses.
Lastly, in an effort to begin providing more measurable data about the school, I thought I would share our historical enrollment (thank you to parent Mark McMillan for his help with this slide as part of another project). As everyone knows, the St. Croix community has changed substantially over the last fifteen years—and the last few years have been especially challenging economically. Nonetheless, despite the lowest historic enrollment last year post-Maria, we have rebounded to pre-Maria levels and we continue to make slow, but steady, improvements to our infrastructure and programs.
We look forward to engaging all of you in different ways to help us continue improving.
Enjoy the holiday concert this evening – and have a wonderful weekend!
Head of School Search Committee
Dear Good Hope Country Day School Community,
Just over three months ago we announced the kickoff of a search for our new Head of School and asked our wide community of stakeholders to provide input on what qualifications and qualities would set our next Head of School up for success. Since that time the Search Committee led by its Chair, Cathy Mares, has been working tirelessly to define and advertise the role, attract a wide range of candidates, evaluate them through repeated in-depth interviews, arrange for face to face visits with all members of the community, reflect on each candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and listen closely to the feedback from Faculty, Parents, Administrators, Trustees, and other GHCDS stakeholders.
We want to thank the community for engaging in the process so vigorously and for sharing an extensive range of detailed thoughts on the three final candidates. Choosing a head of school is one of the most important responsibilities of the Trustees and is a challenging decision given the demands of the role, the longevity desired for the position, and how important GHCDS is to the community.
Last week the Trustees voted to extend an offer to William Bugg as the candidate who, on balance, is set up best to lead the school forward given his deep educational background, head of school experience, familiarity with the challenges which the school needs to face, and his family’s desire to embrace St. Croix. This decision was informed by the positive feedback received from the entire school community.
Please join me and the Board of Trustees in welcoming Mr. Bugg and his family to St. Croix and GHCDS. A transition committee will be formed to help assist him in joining our community. We look forward to working together on a smooth transition and to continue to improve this school for which we all care so deeply.
Chair, GHCDS Board of Trustees
The legend continues in its 30th year; St. Croix Beauty and The Beast Triathlon!
This year’s “race to rebuild” which benefited three local nonprofits: My Brother’s Table, The St. Croix Animal Welfare Center and Caribbean Centers for the Boys and Girls of the Virgin Islands (each organization received $10,000 in proceeds)
· Evan Dykstra, Miko Dizon, and Kelsey Hill, Sprint Relay team
· Dominic Pugliese, Sprint-placed first overall
· Mason Lambert, Sprint-placed third overall
· Megan Lambert, 70.3 (Kari and I finished back/back)
· Kari Loya, 70.3
Bacteria in the Biology Lab
Kindergarten students visit Biology Lab to explore bacteria using microscopes and the new BenQ Board. The visiting puppy was a hit!
Tis The Season To Give
The Nursery students (Reagan, Nolan, Sebastian, and Dylan) give water to the plants outside the nursery classroom.
Lower School Raffle
A heartfelt congratulation to the Lower School for their annual holiday raffle which generated $637.75 for the Women’s Coalition. Teachers contribute presents (books, games, basketballs, movie tickets, beautiful quilts and even horseback lessons) to be raffled off. Carolyn Forno, Assistant Director of the Women’s Coalition, graciously accepted the donation, and talked students about how the school’s donation will help families in need during the holiday season. Special thanks to Ms. Lambert, Ms. Bishop and Ms. Gleason for their organizational work!
Thanks to teachers who contributed prizes to the raffle: Ms. Crisler, Ms. Bishop, Ms. Lambert, Ms. Fitzgerald, Ms. Hill, Ms. Tewinkel, Coach Harper and Coach Klein, Ms. Pelovitz, Ms. Mault, Ms. Bishop(librarian), Ms. Thompson, Mr. Chapman, Coach Carter, Mr. Shelley, Mrs. Shelley, Ms. Cooper, Ms. Canning, Ms. Marohn, Ms. Nieves, Ms. Coles, Ms. Gleason Ms. Blanchette, and Ms. Grey.
Science Fair Right Around The Corner!
On Monday, December 10th from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm parents and members of the community joined were be divided according to the general area of science relating to their project, and each of the Middle School teacher facilitated the process in each room. Middle School students met guests in the front office, led them to their assigned rooms, introduced guests to students
The teacher reviewed the steps of the Charette Protocol, which is a feedback structure teachers learned about when they attended the Buck Institutes Project Based Learning Summer seminar.
Austen Stovall of East End Marine Park, and Cesar Guerra, GHCDS dad and former Middle School Math Teacher listen to students talk about projects connected to chemistry and environmental science.
Dr. Hamilton, and music teacher, Jan Holthus, listened to students talk about their projects related to Behavioral Sciences.
Dr. Daley, of Geographic Consulting, and Claudia Lombard, of Dept of Fish and Wildlife, learned about students’ projects related to Life Sciences.
Kyle Fleming of ProSolar provided feedback to students about alternative energy projects.
Dr. Gruber, Head Pathologist at the Juan Luis Hospital, and Mr. Fletcher of CDS worked with students, whose projects deal with Water Quality, Microbiology, or Health.
Implicit Bias: Eighth Grade Science Fair Project
On November 30 Frances Falcon (’22) and Maddie Cohen were invited by the Association of Virgin Islands Psychologists to attend their annual meeting in St. Thomas in honor of work they did on Implicit Bias for their Eighth grade Science Fair project. Psychological Perspectives on Bias and Racism was the topic of this year’s meeting. In St. Thomas, Frances and Mrs. Coles listened to presentations on Implicit Bias, Microaggression and the Salience of Race, and Race Related Trauma Treatment. The two enjoyed lunch with Dr. Chester Copemann, one of the speakers, and Frances used the opportunity to ask Dr. Copemann and Dr. Gloria Mendez for feedback about her ninth grade Science Fair project.
“I am so very thankful and grateful for being invited to attend the convention. I was truly inspired and motivated to expand this year’s Science Fair research on implicit bias, and real world situations. While I was watching the presentations, I realized that how we are taught to write and research in Science Fair at school, for example keeping track of the dependent and independent variables, is also how professional psychologists do research, meaning that what we have learned might have an appearance in our real world lives.”
Dr. Aletha Bauman, Frances Falcon, and Dr. Chester Copemann at the Association of Virgin Islands Psychologists.
Our next Parents’ Association meeting will be held on Thursday, January 10th. The exact time and location will be announced soon. We will be discussing our survey results and sharing plans for the remainder of the year. Please join us!
This Week in Sports:
Hi Panther Families!
Best of luck to our High School boys basketball team at the Educational Complex Tournament this weekend! Go Panthers!
Next Friday, early dismissal day, the Athletic Department will be offering a Half Day Holiday Fun Day! Students in grades 3-8 are invited to join us in the gym for a fun filled afternoon. Pizza lunch, tag games, relay races, dodgeball, treats and fun with friends, all for just $25.00. Sign up forms have been emailed to parents, and they should be returned to the front office.
Some practices have been modified due to exams in High School next week. Some practice locations have changed, also. It’s Elementary’s turn to have some gym time.
Practices Next Week:
● Track and Field-Monday and Wednesday 3:15-4:30, Friday before school (optional run 6:00 a.m.-7:00)
● Elementary Boys Basketball-Monday (gym) and Thursday (gym) 3:15-4:30
● Elementary Girls Basketball-Monday (gym) and Thursday (gym) 3:15-4:30
● Middle School Boys Basketball-Tuesday (gym) and Thursday 3:15-4:30 (slab)
● JV Girls Basketball-Tuesday 3:15-4:30 gym
● JV and Varsity Boys Basketball-Monday 3:15-4:30 (slab), Wednesday, practice after exams end at 11:30. Pack a lunch.
Have a great weekend, and Go Panthers!
Christmas Holiday Sailing Program at St. Croix Yacht Club
- Two 3-day sessions Dec 27-29 and Jan 2-4
- 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. each day
- Ages: 8-16
- Boats: Optimist, 420 and Sunfish
- Prerequisite: Beginner or Summer Intro Courses or prior sailing experience
This fun program explores the waters of the East End of St Croix from a variety of watercraft, including, Optis, Sunfish and 420s. Sailors enjoy sailing games, sailing excursions to nearby destinations like Smugglers Cove, Buck Island and adventures around Teague Bay and neighboring bays. Sailors will also increase sailing experience and improve on sailing and nautical skills! We emphasize the importance of teamwork, respect, and safety in daily lessons. Our number one goal is to pass on our passion for the sport of sailing to the next generation of St. Croix Sailors.
Required Prerequisite: Ages 8-16, Completed SCYC Intro Sailing course or instructor approval.
Links to more information and Registration:
Session #1 Dec 27-29
Session #2 Jan 2-4