The devastating 2017 hurricane season wreaked havoc on several educational institutions around the Virgin Islands and reduced some to rubble. The St. Thomas-St. John Seventh-day Adventist School was among the institutions which were rendered unsafe for use and the principal, Whitman Browne, shared how staff and students have been impacted: “We were badly damaged. Since then, we have been operating from two [sites], the Shiloh SDA Church and the City SDA Church.”
A thorough clean-up of the school’s premises, in the aftermath of severe wind and flood damage, picked up momentum with a two-week injection of thirty (30) volunteers from the non-profit organization, All Hands International. The school’s administration is celebrating divine intervention which led this non-profit organization to select the school as its project – when asked what prompted the non-profit offer of aid, team leader Hana Wyatt simply responded, “We saw a need and decided to assist in cleaning. We volunteered to help.”
The team removed dry walls, ceiling tiles and instructional tools which were damaged. “We did well,” said Wyatt, “All that needs to be done is the sanitization of the building and the erection of a stable roof.” After the 2017 hurricane season, All Hands International has [impacted the lives of] over 4,700 persons [and has been involved at] 149 debris removal sites.
Browne expressed his satisfaction with how much was accomplished, “I am very happy for their help. They came from afar off to help us – some of them from different parts of the mainland and as far as Australia. We are hoping that in the not too distant future, work can be done to get us back to our school.” For the last three consecutive years, The St. Thomas/St. John Seventh-day Adventist School has been voted the Best Private School on St. Thomas. It is an accredited institution with a stable and committed staff who provide the community with quality education for students from Kindergarten to grade 12.