What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund is the backbone of our fundraising efforts. It is a direct appeal to all of our constituents to support the School philanthropically.

Why Support the Annual Fund?

Rather than tell you ourselves, read the testimonials below from trustees, parents, alumni, and faculty members!

What is the difference between the Annual Fund and the Auction?

The Annual Fund is an appeal to our School community to make a donation directly back to the School to support its mission. Nothing is received in exchange. It is the most efficient way for supporter dollars to benefit our students.  It will consist of a live and silent auction and other forms of entertainment. Dollars raised at the event will support student scholarships. The cost (time and money) of raising Auction funds is significantly greater than the cost of the Annual Fund.

What is the difference between the Unrestricted and Restricted Annual Fund?

The unrestricted Annual Fund supports our overall operating budget, including programs, faculty professional development and compensation, facilities enhancements, and financial aid. Most of our restricted Annual Fund gifts in 2016-17 supported financial aid.

What is the financial impact of the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund (unrestricted and restricted) has provided more than $200,000 above and beyond tuition dollars, or approximately 5% of the School’s operating budget of $4.6M. This is the School’s most important fundraising initiative because of its impact and efficiency.

What is the importance of Leadership Level Annual Fund gifts?

Last year, our 35 Leadership Level gifts totaling $157,560 represented 93% of our total annual giving. We hope you will consider making a Leadership Level gift this year if you are in a position to do so.

How much should I give?

This year the School has provided nearly $1M in financial aid and tuition assistance, impacting 47% of our student body. We have received gifts from $5 to over $50,000. We ask that everyone, including families receiving financial aid, give what they can to support the Annual Fund—even a gift of $5 will make a difference.

When is the deadline for donating to the 2017-18 Annual Fund?

All contributions must be received by June 30, the end of our fiscal year. Many donors, however, may want to make their charitable contribution before December 31 for tax purposes.


To make a credit card gift online, click here!

or Mail us your gift with the GHCDS Bangtail!

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What is your first memory of GHCDS as a parent?

My first memory of GHCDS was arriving at school with my sons and not being sure that our family would fit in. It might seem like a small thing, but I was concerned we may not fit in to the culture of the school as my family was raised Hispanic/Crucian which is a mix up of cultures.  When we arrived here our surprise,  the teachers were very welcoming … the parents were super welcoming… the Deans and even the Head of School, were so welcoming and the variety of cultures, religions and backgrounds that we experienced was really refreshing and comforting.

What are your two greatest memories about the school as a parent?

My greatest memory was when the school did the Olweus bully prevention program and we had the talent show in which all the kids had to do something that supported or represented bully prevention.   The talent show was so well put together.   The songs, the performances, the students, even the Head of School at the time, performed.  It was an amazing concert.  The quality of performance, the content and the message that was brought that day was spectacular.   I was in awe in how strong the message and community was.  For me the Olweus bully prevention program was very important because as a parent I wanted to make sure that my kids were in a safe learning environment.  When I drop them off in the morning and I am at work, I do not want to have to worry about my sons and their well-being … I felt comfortable dropping them off in the morning knowing that they were safe.

What do you like most about the school today?

I love the dedication of the staff.   I spend a lot of time behind the scenes on Parents’ Association projects, so I get to see first-hand the faculty and staff spending the extra hours and coming in on their days off and when you see their dedication it’s priceless… people giving of themselves putting the students first even before their own personal lives.  In this world it is rare to see that true dedication.   Also I like the inclusiveness and diversity of the school.   Our kids have really been given the opportunity to be exposed to a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds and I feel that is a very important part of a well-rounded development.

Why do you give to the annual fund?

When we initially worked out the cost of tuition, we could not make it work but we did not want our two boys going to two different schools.  In addition, we knew GHCDS was going to provide them a quality education and we wanted that for our sons.  I support the annual fund because it afforded us the ability to make it happen.  The Head of School encouraged us to apply for financial aid.  Fortunately, with the financial assistance we were given, we were able to enroll our sons.



What is your first memory of GHCDS (or in this case, CDS) as a teacher? 

Summerhayes: Setting up my chemistry lab that first year (1984).  The building had just been constructed that summer, and I was delighted to have a brand new facility and equipment & supplies to fill it.  It was such a contrast to my Peace Corps experience in Fiji, where I had NO lab equipment and was forced to rely on “chalk ‘n’ talk.”

Baker: I was visiting Roger in his first year. I couldn’t believe how open the classrooms were to the outdoors, being used to closed up buildings of classrooms. The faculty was incredibly close, socializing together often.


What are your 2-3 greatest memories as teachers?

Summerhayes: My best teaching memory was giving extra help to a young lady in chemistry.  She had a huge mental block about math problems, and we found a way together to work through them.  She went on to become a doctor, and I was thrilled.

Another great memory was winning the Best Teacher award (chosen by students) for a few years.  I found it incredibly rewarding that, as demanding as I am with course content, students recognized the value of being pushed by me to do their best.

Other great memories come from demonstrations I do in science.  Many are counterintuitive and evoke a lot of “Wow!” and “What?!?” from my students.  That excitement about science happening before their eyes is a joy to me.

Baker: I’ll treasure being asked to be the guest speaker to 8th grade Celebration after teaching there for 18 years. It was great fun. A sadder memory is seeing Peggy Keylin picking through the rubble of the Middle School after Hurricane Hugo to find any salvageable books. The greatest teaching memory is of the student who wrote “I hated science until your class.” That student went on to major and work in a science field.


What do you love most about the School today?

Summerhayes: The racial and cultural diversity–I adore the mix that is this island and this school.  Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Arabs, other islanders, Danes, Indians, Vietnamese, et. al.  I love my summers off in New York State, but I miss the heterogeneity of our school during that time.  Despite our geographic isolation here, our population is wonderfully global and inclusive.

Baker: I love the academic freedom. Teachers are given so many opportunities to follow their intellectual hearts. (Is that a contradiction?)


Why have you chosen to support the Annual Fund?

Summerhayes: Private schools (particularly GHCDS) deliver so much for so little.  While tuition is high for this island, it is very low compared to stateside private schools.  Given the hit-or-miss nature of some public school education, we offer consistent quality, and it needs to be supported by all of us, however we are able.

Baker: I think everyone should support their education. This is personal – the students who benefit from the Annual Fund sit in my classroom and I know the struggles their parents face to keep them in those seats.


Photo Credit: Jolynn Grace

Bougouneau Combo pic

My first memory of Good Hope Country Day School was serving coffee to parents and visitors on the first day of school.  It means a lot to me to help create a warm welcome for parents, faculty, and students as they embark on a new year, with cautious anticipation.   I am moved when I get to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones on registration day.  It’s truly heartwarming—I remember not wanting to go home!

We started at GHS and moved over with the transition. It was a natural move for us as we knew traditions and philosophies would be combined. We wanted to join a school community where Cereyna would be looked after and nurtured to be her best self.  The amazing faculty and support staff, all with unique talents and contributions, are selfless in their giving. They should be celebrated—they are responsible for the many successes of the School and its students. I am very proud of that.

I choose to contribute to the GHCDS Annual Fund and volunteer because it is important to give back and stay involved. I have served in an executive capacity on the GHS and GHCDS parents’ association and trustee boards for the past eight years. I understand the need to give on all levels. I cannot give a lot, but I believe that every gift matters. An independent school needs resources beyond tuition dollars to be able to provide the best programs possible.

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Photo Credit: Nicole Canegata

Nesha Christian-Hendrickson

My first memory at Country Day School was when I arrived for testing a year after Hugo. My previous school, Montessori House of Children, had been destroyed in the storm. I felt like I had moved to the big leagues because it was a much stricter environment.  One of my greatest memories is winning Orange and White Day; we worked so hard trying to win tug of war! We had so much school pride! The other outstanding memory I have is my graduation where my mother was selected as the guest speaker. Not many people have that privilege.

Country Day School fostered academic excellence and an appreciation for diversity, which helped prepare me for Penn State University.  My strong start at CDS greatly contributed to the lawyer I am today.  What I love about the School is that we are flexible to new ideas while staying true to our history of academic excellence and diversity.
I chose to serve on the Board of Trustees because I wanted to give back to my School and community in a concrete way. Both my parents served in different capacities and I always knew I wanted to contribute in a significant way.

I donate to the annual fund because it is the most efficient way that an alum can help the School continue to provide the same high-quality education for others that I was fortunate to receive.

Michelle Dizon Testimonial - imageMichelle Dizon Testimonial header

My first memory of Country Day School was walking into the pre-k building on the first day holding my mom’s hand and not wanting to let go. From then until graduation, there were so many memories. I started coming out of my shell in middle school, participating in sports, student government, and yearbook. I loved the yearbook with Ms. Hatch, spending hours taking pictures with friends. I also loved Orange and White Day and Mini Gusto, particularly in 1982 when I learned to scuba dive and overcame my fear of water.

I chose to send my kids to Good Hope Country School (GHCDS) because I wanted to give them the same experience I had before heading to college. My children come home happy and eager to go back every day. The School provides a personal touch that I felt when I was there and my children thrive because of it. I still maintain my friendships from my days at CDS and I know they will, too.

I decided to serve on the board of trustees when asked 10 years ago. It wasn’t an easy decision because I knew it was a big time commitment, but I wanted to give back and use my skill-set to serve in any way I could. I also wanted to help preserve that special sense of community that I felt when I was a student.

I donate to the annual fund because by participating you are showing you believe in the School and what they are doing. Tuition alone does not cover everything and it is important to show your support at any level.

Savannah Logan Testimonial image

Michelle Dizon Testimonial header

One of my first memories at Country Day School was celebrating the 100th day of school when I was in the 1st grade and creating a hat with a hundred objects on it. I spent hours gluing a hundred pennies to that hat. The memories would continue through the years. One of the most memorable was in the 2nd grade; a few students teased me at lunch for my mashed zucchini. However, Matthew Patton and Sean Marin, who I graduated with years later, stood up on the benches and gave a speech about the problems with bullying and how I should be allowed to eat whatever I like. We remain friends to this day. Another fond memory was in the 4th grade we had to build Tiano villages and I worked with a group of 4 people. We spent hours trying to make it as realistic as possible. I was ecstatic when my group placed in the contest.

I love that there are still so many traditions that were around when I went to school here. It is nice watching students go through things that I remember so fondly. One of my favorite traditions that still remain is Mini Gusto. One of the most memorable was in the 10th grade when I took a moko jumbie class. On the last day, the group walked around the campus on stilts. It was a really exciting experience that I will never forget.

I donate to the annual fund because I think it is important to support the school that made me who I am today. I want to be part of keeping our school’s family going.