As the season to appreciate service providers arrived, the St. Thomas and St. John communities of the Virgin Islands (VI) readily responded to the VI Daily News’ annual online survey of services offered by community providers. And for the third consecutive year, the majority gave the nod for “Best Private Elementary School of the US Virgin Islands” to the St. Thomas/ St. John Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) School.
Paulette Wade, Media Consultant for the VI Daily News which conferred the honor, said they were pleased for the Adventist population: “It is good advertisement for the Adventist School. When people are looking around they now know where to go.”
Dr. Whitman Browne, principal, responded on behalf of school administrators and staff: “This accomplishment shows us that our Adventist education can make a difference and shine no matter how difficult the times. We can say, despite the challenges [children] are finding their place in the SDA school and [are] impacting the world. We believe that the success of the school has to do with the importance and value we place on students and community. We offer value to the community. Our focus is on . . . discipline and Christian morals. We are on a journey with no child left behind and parents love that so they talk about it.” Dr. Brown and his team work assiduously to encourage families from the community, with children, to choose the school.
About 33% of the 136 students do not share the SDA beliefs. However, as they inquire more about the Bible, their interest is nurtured and some have chosen to baptized, with parental approval. At this school, students have an opportunity to engage in local and international curricular and service activities, as supported by the philosophy of Adventist education.
The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) community on St. Thomas and St. John is an active body of believers which worships as 7 congregations; operates an accredited institution for students in elementary, junior high and high school; and, is engaged in neighborhood ministry coordinated by the North Caribbean Conference.