Final building and site improvements are ongoing at the St. Thomas-St. John SDA School. The faculty and staff of the institution are also preparing to welcome their students back to the refurbished school building, for the 2019 – 2020, school year. The theme for the year is: New Beginning, Trusting The Same God! School officials are hoping for growth in enrollment, given the refurbishing and goodwill investments with which the institution has been engaged. The appeal to parents of school-age children is simple and direct: If you and your children are searching for, and committed to, academic excellence and holistic educational experiences, these can be realized at the St. Thomas-St. John SDA School, on St. Thomas
Dr. Whitman Browne, principal of the school, is very pleased with the rebuilding project. He noted, “It is almost a complete make over. We now have a new roof, new ceiling, an upgraded electrical system, in time, completely air conditioned, firmer louvers, and new partitions in the auditorium. There are sheltered walk-ways too! Over $1.5 million (USD), has been spent on the project. Our intent was to rebuild a strong, lasting Structure, as we continue to face the ravaging results of Global Warming and its consequences. Getting the building to where it is has been quite a challenging journey. Almost two years ago, we all looked in wonder at the battered and broken building our school had become, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck St. Thomas. However, despite the devastation we saw, our God is a miracle working God. It is His institution. So, we embraced the challenge before us prayerfully, asking God to lead.”
“Since our school building was left roofless, and had other damages all around, we were forced to operate elsewhere—in two different locations, at the Shiloh and the City Churches. The members of both churches were very kind and and forbearing to us. We will always be grateful to them. Meanwhile, teaching under limiting conditions, challenged and tested the faculty. Despite the stress and challenges, to our faculty, our school remained a model learning place. Teachers never lost focus on their challenge, to educate the whole child. We have teachers who are both committed and patient. They never lost focus on educating the whole child.”
Pastor Desmond James, President of the North Caribbean Caribbean Conference, NCC, commented, “The devastation the school experienced, made it necessary to almost rebuild the structure. We will lend our support to Christian Education. The St. Thomas-St. John SDA School, is one of the older religious education fasciitis on St. Thomas. The 2019 – 2020, school year, will mark 64 years of continuous operation for our school, and its delivery of Christian Education.
Principal, Whitman Browne and the entire school’s family, continue to express appreciation to the wider SDA organization, including the Caribbean Union Conference, and the North Caribbean Conference, for supporting the rebuilding project. “We are very grateful for their commitment and support. The constituency of St. Thomas -St. John must be applauded for their confident commitment to the rebuilding project. They came with us every step of that journey. Further, through the local Coordinating Council and local congregations, they gave of their prayers, hard work, and finances, to see us through. We thank them.”
Mrs. Greene Joseph, NCC Education Director, said, “I am happy and proud, to be part of a tested, tried, vibrant, and successful SDA School system. In this system, there is holistic education, all-around excellence, giving back to, and rebuilding communities. Despite the time to which our world has come, our school remains a light house, focused on, and driven by, Christian Education principles.”
Principal Browne and his team are very optimistic about the new school year and what it holds ahead. All parents who are part of the school’s family, are appreciated sincerely. Dr. Browne reflected, “The history of the SDA School system, with its unwavering commitment to students is well known. Our school received the blue ribbon for the best private elementary school on St. Thomas-St. John again this year-the fifth consecutive time that the school has received the award. It demonstrates worth in, and appreciation for, what we are doing at the school.”
The SDA community and School Board, should continue to market the institution, and embrace all possible opportunities to increase its enrollment.