on Schools in the
Subject Matter: Reference Material
Grade Levels: All Levels
Researched and Written by: Ruth hoolenaar
Typed by: Helen Smith, Administrative Secretary
A coatribution of Project Introspection in observance of
American Education Week November 14-19, 1982.
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . ... 1
Wayne Aspinall Junior High School . 6
Bertha Boschulte Junior High School . 7
Dober School . . . . . . . 8
Joseph Gomez School. . . . . .10
J. Antonio Jarvis School. . . .. 11
Ivanna Eudora Kean High School . . .. .13
Lockhart Elementary . . ... . . 14
Evelyn Marcelli School . . . . . 15
Ulla F. Muller School . . . . .. .17
Emanuel Banjamin Oliver School . . .. .19
Peace Corps School . . . . . .. .20
Kirwan Terrace School . . . . .. .22
Joseph Sibilly School . . . . .23
Jane E. Tuitt Elementary School .... .24
Edith L. Williams Elementary School . 25
Guy Benjamin Elementary School . . .. .27
Julius Sprauve School . . . ... .28
Clarice Thomas Annex . . . . ... .28
Alfredo Andrews Elementary School . . 29
Elena Christian Junior High School . . 30
Theodora Dunbavin School . . . .. 31
Charles Emanuel Emenentary School . . 32
Juanita Gardine Elementary School . . 33
Alexander Henderson Elementary School .34
Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School . . 35
Claude O. Markoe Elementary School . . 36
Lew Muckle Elementary School . . .. 37
Arthur Richards Junior High School . . 38
Ricardo Richards Elementary School . . 39
Table of Contents (Continued)
Eulalie Rivera Elementary School . . 40
Evelyn Williams Elementary School . 41
John Woodson Elementary School ... 42
Historical Listing of Heads of the
local Educational System . . .. 43
References. . . . . . .. 44
As we reflect on the observance of American Education
Week November 14-19 and its 1982 theme, "A strong nation
needs strong schools", the thoughts of Virgin Islanders
drift back to the strides education has made. Starting from
the one-room school house to the large departmentalized
buildings and programs they will remember those pioneer
teachers who taught all subjects through the long hot hours
from eight to eleven-thirty and one to four.
Dominating the walls of the classrooms were the imposing
glass-framed pictures of presidents of the United States.
These were the men for whom the schools were named. On St.
Thomas schools were designated as Washington School, Lincoln
School, Herrick School, Jefferson School, Madison School
and on down the presidential line.
Gradually Virgin Islanders realized that many persons
within the community were dedicating a life time of service
to public education.
Furthermore, the students taught by these dedicated:
servants either went abroad or stayed at home and identified
themselves as scholars.
In keeping with its policy to recognize significant con-
tributions of its citizens,the Virgin Islands Government
through its legislature pays fitting tribute to those who
have and to those who are contributing to the education in
an outstanding manner.
In most instances this policy is achieved through legis-
lative bills and/or resolutions naming schools in honor of
Basically,the content of this publication are excerpts
from these legislation and sincere appreciation is extend-
ed to the Journals Division of the Fourteenth Legislature
especially Mrs. Glencia Steele who patiently complied with
our many requests.
The material is designed to provide instructional person-
nel, school administration and staff, students,with basic
information explaining the contributions of the persons for
whom the schools were named and number and date of legisla-
tive bills which mandated these tributes and other incident-
als relative to individual schools.
Early Historical Sketch:
1672 is reportedly one of th /earliest recorded dates in
the colonization of this territ y. In that year Jergen
Iversen is credited with hoist ng the Danish flag and taking
full possession of St. Thoma in the name of the King and the
West India Guinea Company. e occupied his energies in forti-
fying the islands As the young colony grew other areas of
development received priority education was of no concern of
However, even in/those early years people sensed the need
of an education, so those who could afford it sent their
children home to Europe where they received a good education,
while others paid./or private tutors At times these private
tutors were not of the best character or intelligence.
During these early days of colonization the Dutch com-
prised the majority of the European colonizers. They were
reportedly of questionable characters and left quite a color-
ful record in the history of St. Thomas.
However, they were one step ahead of the Danes, because
they had a well organized system of education which dates back
as early as 1583. They were the first to open a school in St.
Thomas in 1747 in which they taught white children some
language. The Moravians came on the scene in 1733. Their
main interest was to teach the negroes passages from the
Bible and other religious books). However conflicts arose
between the Dutch planters and the Moravians. The planters
intimidated the Negroes from attending night classes. The
Danes in an attempt to help, agreed to house the Moravians
Missionaries. Evening classes included lessons in religion
but this was extended to include reading and writing using
Dutch books since Dutch was the most commonly used language.
The state language was Danish but was rarely spoken.
Dutch was the every-day language besides some English, French,
Spanish) The Africans upon arrival into the territory were
unable to understand the European languages so they extracted
easy words and phrases from the new languages and mixed them
with their African phrases and in this way creole language
came into being. It was in this language that the first text
for the slaves was written. In 1780 the catechist kingo
wrote the A-B-C Book, a primer for teaching reading.
But credit is given to Thomas De Malleville first native
born governor of the Danish West Indies for his translation
of the New Testament into Dutch Creole. Known officially as
the Niew Testament Na Creol Loal, the 1802 edition was written
as evidence of the governor's interest in the final emanci-
pation of the slaves. He believed education was the first
step towards liberty.
With much hostility and jealousy, mission schools were
established on St. Thomas and on St. Croix. In 1803 the
government built a school which offered instruction in Danish
and English, writing,arithmetic, history and English and
In 1822 team teaching presented itself in the persons of
two famous teachers, Lancaster and Bell. Their influence over
Europe was very strong. It is no wonder then that the Danish
West Indian schools became excited with the idea and made a
bid for its introduction. Through private contributions
which took care of expenses the new school was opened on
April 11, 1835 and one Mr. Wulf a church clerk acted as super-
visor. In the second year of the school Mr. Wulf died and
was replaced by Mr. A.D. Gomez, a black. The school went
through the usual pains of any newly formed organization. (1)
Von Scholten is blamed or credited with several major
changes during his regime as Governor General of the Danish
He was interested in setting up an educational system
for unfree children since only the mission schools bothered
to offer these children any form of education.
In 1839 he sent a proposal to establish eight country
schools on St. Croix. Along with the establishment of the
schools came other problem as: who would supervise and in
what language would the instruction be offered. He tried to
abolish the Creole language but Creole was still very much
alive on St. Thomas especially with the Moravians. There-
fore he decided that English would be the official school
language and he turned over the supervision of the education-
al system to the Moravians who were in turn supervised by the
1Fjelds4e, The Development of the Educational System in
the Danish West Indian Islands, 1916.
The king of Denmark was so impressed by the work of the
Moravians in the schools that he ordered that schools be
established on St. Thomas and on St. John. He further re-
quested the Moravians to manage these schools and to educate
the children irrespective of their denominational affilia-
tion. Schools had already been established by the Moravians
at Emmaus and at Bethany in St. John and were conducted from
9:00 A.M. to 12 noon daily except Saturdays serving the child-
ren between the ages four and eight from all the plantations.
Private and Parochial Schools
A summary of early attempts of education in the territory
reveals that the education began with conversion of the slaves
and eventually spread to include other subjects. Furthermore
it is proven that since the business of education rested with
the missionaries all the schools were of this era were church
schools and were eventually operated by such powers as the
(Dutch Reformed), Dutch, Moravians, Danes, (Lutherans),
Catholics and Episcopalians.
Jens Larsen's Virgin Islands Story states that "the
Moravian supervision of the government country schools came
to an end in 1872. While on St. Croix the schools continued
uninterruptedly, on St. Thomas and St. John they were dis-
continued, and for several years there were no government
public schools on these islands. In the city of Charlotte
Amalie in 1872 there were twenty-four private and parochial
schools most of which were Roman Catholic and Anglican and
one prominent Lutheran which was located at No. 2 Dronningens
Gade Kings Quarter.
The St. Thomas College
Public education on St. Thomas and St. John was re-in-
stated by the school ordinance of November 9, 1875 and was
implemented on February 11, 1876. Three public schools were
established on St. Thomas while smaller schools were establish-
ed in the country area of St. Thomas and St. John.
Around this time also an advanced school was established
on St. Thomas on July 2, 1876. It operated under the name of
St. Thomas College. It became a highly accredited school.
Science was the core of the curriculum. It finally phased
out of existence around 1883.
2Maynard, Oliver G. A History of the Moravian Church,
Eastern West Indies Province
Diversity in the curriculum was kept apace with the in-
crease in enrollment. At each rural school on St. Croix (in
the eighties) dressmaking, housework were introduced for the
girls, while manual training and gardening were introduced to
the boys. While there was no definite segregation in the
schools it was noted that white and light skinned children
were enrolled in one of the private schools while the dark
skinned children who in most instances belonged to parents
of economically deprived parents, attended the communal or
Effects of the Transfer
After many long years of negotiations in 1917 the Danish
West Indies were sold in 1917 to the United States of America
for the sum of $25,000,000. In his official report, Admiral
Oliver, the first American Governor described condition of
the newly acquired territory as decidedlyy backward and dis-
graceful". The islands were put under a Naval Administration
which lasted for fourteen years (1917-1931).
To this administration the credit of establishing a Junior
High School. This plan provided a ninth grade education for
Effects of Civilian Government of Education
The Navy Administration was followed by a Civilian form
of government. The first governor under this administration
was Paul M. Pearson whose term of office was from 1931-1935
The Civil Administration collided head-on with the worst
depression to face the United States. Governor Pearson there-
fore inherited such major problems as unemployment, business
failures,over-population. These problems of course affected
the operation of the school system. Children were drawn out
of school to help support families; both trained and un-
trained, employee suffered salary cuts.
Despite this economic decline in 1931 the first twelfth
grade graduation made a historic occasion on St. Thomas.
According to today standards one may wonder how can a
graduation class which is comprised of four students be con-
sidered "historic". When we consider the factors sorround-
ing this situation it is well. Let us review the situation:
In 1931 there were four students who had completed be-
yound the ninth grade requirements (Enid Holst, Enid Baa,
Albert Commisiong, Hugh Smith.
With no regular teachers (since at that time teachers
worked six hours but a few volunteered to give two hours free
time to the twelfth graders) the four students were given
home work under a "contract plan". This they completed and
in June of 1931 the St. Thomas Junior High School awarded the
first four senior high school diplomas in the same ceremonies
in which the ninth grade graduates officiated.
Several other changes occurred within the system through
the years. The name of the school was changed from St. Thomas
Junior High School to Charlotte Amalie High School, the name
it carries today.
In 1934 a move was made to abolish the Senior High
School. Through the efforts of the Teachers Association,
the forerunner of today Federation of Teachers fought des-
perately to retain this section of our educational system.
Credit for instigating the establishment of the Teachers
Institute also goes to the Teachers Association. A small but
interested group of educators made an evaluation of the
records of local teachers who were teaching without formal
training. Some did not have a high school diploma. With the
approval of the Director of School, C. Federick Dixon the
Teachers Institute became a reality. Its main goal was to
upgrade the teaching profession by offering in-service train-
ing. Miss Bertha Boschulte, Miss Jane E. Tuitt and Mrs.
Louise Scott paid $2.00 per course while the instructors were
paid $20. It should be noted here that these instructors were
so well qualified to offer these courses that Hampton Insti-
tute, New York University and Puerto Rico Polythecnic (Inter-
American) accepted their credits towards a degree.
Teacher in-service training continued as a major service
of the Teachers Institute. By 1944 less than 10% of the local
teachers lacked a high school education and 15% were college
graduates. Several new departments were added to the system:
Vocational and Technical Education, Spanish as a foreign
language, kindergarten schools and free lunches were served
Wayne Aspinall School
Location: Crown Bay, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-4540
Type: Junior High School; Limited Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 1,157
On November 20, 1964 the Fifth Legislature of the Virgin
Islands approved the naming of a public high school in the
honor of Wayne N. Aspinall of Colorado, a member of the U.S.
House of Representatives and chairman of the House Interior
and Insular Affairs Committee.
He served the people of the Virgin Islands with notable
distinction and introduced programs which helped the islands
in the field of education, health, housing, business, industry
and public works.
Bertha C. Boschulte School
Location: Estate Bovoni, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 775-4222
Type: Junior High; Limited Special Education, Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 991
Act No. 3923 approved on December 29, 1976 designated the
junior high at Estate Bovoni, St. Thomas be named in honor of
Bertha C. Boschulte in honor of the extra ordinary contribu-
tions of Miss Boschulte to the people of the Virgin Islands
particularly in the field of education.
Bertha Boschulte was an elementary school teacher, princi-
pal, statistician and senator. She was born on St. Thomas
March 30, 1906 and received her early education in the local
school system. She received her bachelor of science degree
from Hampton Institute and her Master of Arts in organization
and administration of secondary schools from Columbia Univer-
sity and Master of Public Health from University of Michigan.
Positions she has held in the government of the Virgin
Islands include: Teacher of English secondary level, Princi-
pal of Charlotte Amalie High School and Acting Commissioner
of Education. She also served as director of statistical
services, director of Division of Vital Records and Statistics,
Director of General Services in the Department of Health.
She was elected to the Virgin Islands Legislature in 1964
and to the Virgin Islands Board of Education in 1970.
On March 1, 1981 the Berth Boschulte School was dedicated
in her honor.
Location: Charlotte Amalia
Telephone: (809) 774-0228; 774-5874
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 318
The original Dober School was a private school, operated
by the Moravians. The name Dober was chosen by them to (1)
perpetuate the name and efforts of one of the first two
Moravian missionaries to visit the islands with the aim of
Christianizing and educating the slaves and (2) to perpetuate
the labor of the Moravians in the field of education in the
then Danish West Indies.
The school was later closed by the Danes because of an
over-crowded situation and because of certain social condi-
tions in the area.
After the transfer, the school was reopened and called the
Ulyses Grant School in honor of the eighteenth president as was
the custom being introduced at that time by the Americans.
Some time later the school was sold and used as a church.
The present Dober School is of recent times built around the
late 1930's and was a one story building. The second story
was built to facilitate the students of Jane E. Tuitt who
after grade four were obliged to go out of their area to
attend either George Washington or Commandant Gade Schools
to complete their elementary education.
However a brief historical note will further explain the
contributions of Leonard Dober in whose honor the school was
Dober's recognition in the Virgin Islands is closely
interwoven with the religious movement which existed in the
Danish West Indies and more specifically with the efforts of
The conversion of the slaves of the.then Danish West
Indies was of major interest to the Moravians and in this
pursuit they were involved in many parts of the world.
It was through the efforts of a black man named Anthony
that their attention was turned to the islands. While Count
Zinzendorf was attending the coronation of Christian V in
Copenhagen, he heard through Anthony about the poor conditions
of the slaves in the islands and their wish to become Christ-
At once the Moravians felt it was time to spread their
missionary work to distant shores and Leonard Dober offered
to serve as the missionary for St. Thomas.
It was one year after that he was appointed to the work
and another missionary David Nitschman was chosen to accompany
They left Copenhagen on October 8, 1733 and arrived on
St. Thomas on December 13, of the same year.
In April of the next year David Nitschman returned to
Copenhagen leaving Dober to continue the work alone. His main
objective was the conversion of the slaves but life in the
islands was very difficult as he had no income. He tried to
find work as a potter but was unsuccessful. He was finally
hired as a steward in the home of Governor Gardelin. However,
his work with the slaves was viewed with suspicion and dis-
trust especially at the time of the insurrection on St. Croix.
He finally left his job at the Governor's home and became a
watchman on estates.
Years after, eighteen other missionaries joined him in
his work and some went to St. Croix. Shortly following the
group's arrival, Dober was notified that he had been elected
Elder of the Unity and left to participate in the United
Joseph Gomez School
Estate Tutu, St. Thomas
Elementary: limited Special Education
The public school at Estate Tutu on St. Thomas was
designated the Joseph A. Gomez School by Act No. 2658
approved by the Eight Legislature on March 6, 1970.
The late Joseph A. Gomez served with distinction as
Chairman of the Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St.
John and later as a member of the First Through Fourth
Legislatures of the Virgin Islands
During his tenure as a legislator he sponsored many
legislative bills designed to improve the general welfare
of the people of the Virgin Islands including appropria-
tion measures for the construction of schools and the
employment of additional teachers for the education of the
J. Antonio Jarvis School
Location: Charlotte Amalia, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-0036
Jose Antonio Jarvis, a distinguished native son who died
in 1963 was a poet, author, historian, artist, philanthropist
and a great educator.
He founded the local newspaper, the Daily News, (now a
Gannett Newspaper) in 1940 and has authored several books
some of which are Brief History of the Virgin Islands; The
Virgin Islands and their People.
Mr. Jarvis began his teaching career in 1934 and in 1942
became the Principal of the Abraham Lincoln School (now Jarvis
School). He served in this capacity until his death.
The building which presently houses the J. Antonio
Jarvis School is over 100 years old. During Danish adminis-
tration it was used as a military hospital and the entire
area was known as Hospital Line.
When the Americans assumed responsibility of these
islands the building was re-inforced and turned into a school
which became known as the Communal School.
Later on in the tradition of naming schools in honor of
American Presidents the school was called the Abraham Lincoln
Comprised of three floors, it originally housed twelve
classrooms and a principal's office. The office was initially
the old hospital's morgue.
J. Antonio Jarvis (Continued)
The Lincoln School was also one of the four schools
selected to include teaching of Danish in the curriculum.
Later on such subjects as Practical Arts and Crafts were added
which were designed to introduce boys to the trades in pre-
paration for adult life.
At one time gardening played an important role and the
area occupied by portions of the Knud Hansen Hospital were
used for agricultural activities. These gardens produced
record size and numbers of tomatoes, cabbages and turnips.
Ivanna Eudora Kean School
Nazareth Bay, Estate Red Hook, St. Thomas
(809) 775-2460; 5-1235; 5-3020; 5-1833
Senior High; Limited Special Education
The previously named Nazareth Bay Secondary School was
renamed the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School through (Bill No.
6322) Act No. 3656 approved on January 13, 1975 by the
Eight Legislature of the Virgin Islands in honor of the 52
years of devoted, dedicated and distinguished services of
Ivanna Eudora Kean. She began her teaching career under
the Danish administration where she started as a monitor-
teacher at the Hospital Gade School (now Jarvis School).
After the Transfer in 1917 she worked at several other
public schools both elementary and secondary.
Her formal educational background include training at
International Correspondence Hampton Institute and the
University of Wisconsin.
In addition to the naming of the school in her honor,
Miss Kean was also honored by other local agencies.
Lockhart Elementary School
Location: Estate Thomas, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-2133; 774-3111
Type: Elementary; limited Special Ed.; Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 913
On February 21, 1963 by an act approved by the Fifth
Legislature, the former Sugar Estate Elementary School was
renamed the Lockhart Elementary School in recognition of the
humanitarian qualities and honorable acts of the late Alfred
Harris Lockhart, Sr.
Mr. Lockhart in his life time achieved an outstanding
record as a successful businessman, a good employer and a
He operated a hotel, a department store, a bakery and
a variety of other businesses, all of which contributed to
the economic progress of the island.
In memory of and to maintain the tradition of the patri-
ach, members of the Lockhart family sold to the government, at a
most reasonable price,a large parcel of land at Estate Thomas
on which not only the elementary school but the race track
and portions of Charlotte Amalie High School are located.
Furthermore the legislature also mandated that the
entire surrounding area formerly known as Estate Thomas be
renamed the Lockhart Gardens.
Evelyn Marcelli School
Location Charlotte Amalia, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-2966
Type: Elementary: Limited Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 457
Originally this building was called Backerdahl and later
Talital Kumai. It was used as a private residence, then as
a home for wayward girls. It was administered by the Lutheran
Church and supervised by the church deconesses.
With the transfer of the Danish West Indies to the United
States many major changes occurred in the school system..
Several school buildings were termed unsuitable. Therefore
other buildings were used as schools. However, this building
was one of those transformed into a public school and in 1919
was named in honor of the first president of the United
Act No. 3503 approved on November 26, 1973 by the Tenth
Legislature of the Virgin Islands mandated the renaming of
the George Washington School the Evelyn E. Marcelli School
as a lasting tribute to Miss Evelyn E. Marcelli for the
devotion of her considerable talent and energies to the
benefit of the public education system of the Virgin Islands.
Miss Marcelli, who was born on St. Thomas has dedicated
most of her life to the task of public education, starting as
a trainee at the old Town School in St. Thomas in 1929.
After studying at Hampton Institute, Virginia and the
University of Puerto Rico she later earned her bachelor of
science degree in education from Cheyney State College
Cheyney, Pennsylvania and her Masters of Arts degree from
the University of Pennsylvania in 1960.
For twenty years she served as an elementary school
teacher at the then, George Washington School, Abraham Lincoln
(now Jarvis), Thomas Jefferson (now defunct). and Dober Schools.
Evelyn Marcelli (Continued)
In 1949 she was appointed principal of Commandant Gade
School and in 1961 principal of George Washington School.
At the end of the school term 1973 Miss Marcelli submitted
her resignation after completing 44 years of service to the
Ulla F. Muller Elementary School
Location: Estate Contant, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-0059; 774-4862
Type: Elementary; limited Special Ed.; Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 653
On May 31, 1979 the Thirteenth Legislature of the Virgin
Islands through Act No. 4318 renamed the Nisky Elementary
School the Ulla F. Muller Elementary School as a tribute to
Mrs. Muller for her extraordinary contributions to the Virgin
Islands, especially in the field of education.
A product of the local public school system, she taught
at the Abraham Lincoln School (now J. Antonio Jarvis) Elemen-
Mrs. Muller was later transferred to James Monroe School
as Principal-Teacher until 1951 when she matriculated at
Hampton Institute, Virginia. While at Hampton Mrs. Muller
was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and was awarded
the prestigious Elizabeth Codrington Award for high scholas-
After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary
education she returned to the Virgin Islands and was assigned
Teacher-Principal at Nisky Elementary School.
She pursued additional training and in 1963 obtained a
Master of Arts degree in Administration and Supervision.
She has been a leader in education for forty-five years.
She has been affiliated with several civic organizations and
was honored by the St. Thomas Club of Business and Profession-
al Women as Woman of the Year.
This school is an outgrowth of the old Nisky School former-
ly located near the Nisky Moravian Church. It was one of the
three original Moravian mission schools.
Ulla Muller (Continued)
Increase in population mandated larger facilities and the
new school was built on the present grounds on Estate Contant.
During 1962-1964 it was used as a pilot project with the
New York University when this institution was contracted to
assist in the upgrading of the school system. Nisky school
was used as the demonstration site and the school assumed the
name Nisky Demonstration School.
Emanuel Benjamin Oliver School
Location: Estate Tutu, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 775-2000; 775-4330
Type: Elementary: limited Special Education; Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 803
Approved on February 14, 1975, Act No. 3671 designated
the new elementary school at Estate Tutu in honor of the
late Emanuel Benjamin Oliver for devoted and meritorious
service to the people of the Virgin Islands.
Born on the island of Monsterrat on May 29, 1876 Mr.
Oliver came to St. Croix at the age of thirty-two. His
former training and experience in teaching on the island of
Antigua were advantageous as he subsequently became a
principal of the St. Croix Dane School, was transferred to
the Frederiksted School and was later moved to St. Thomas
where he was appointed principal of the Abraham Lincoln
School (now the J. Antonio Jarvis School). At this school
he initiated and implemented a teacher training program
where he was responsible for the training of teachers of
His involvement was not limited to education as he also
participated in other community affairs. He was the founder
of the Maypole Dramatic Club, the Goodwill Odd Fellow Lodge
as well as other tennis and baseball clubs all now defunct.
After he retired from public education he founded and
managed the Goodwill School a private institution from which
many outstanding citizens of today were graduates.
The design of the E. Benjamin Oliver School ranked top
among best designed schools in the nation.
Peace Corps School
Location: Estate Mandahl, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 775-3200
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 384
While no legislative bill has been found designating the
naming of this particular school in recognition of the service
of the U.S. Peace Corps, it is known that this unit of trainees
have constructed several buildings which are currently used
as parts of existing school plants. Their efforts were not
ignored, however as the following legislative bills will attest
Trainees of the Peace Corps of the United States before
assignment in Africa,were temporarily based in the Virgin
Islands for orientation purposes.
While on the islands the trainees were given experiences in
constructing buildings as camping facilities. In some in-
stances the facilities were constructed with monies borrowed
from the Government Insurance Fund repayable at the interest
of 4X (see act No.2083).
In 1963 two school buildings in St. Thomas were named in
honor of the Peace Corps of the United States, namely: a build-
ing within the Nisky Elementary (now Ulla Muller) School and
within the grounds of the James Madison (now Edith Williams)
School on St. Thomas. Act No. 954 approved on March 8, 1963
mandated that each of these buildings be known as the Peace
Peace Corps at Mandahl
Act No. 2083, approved on December 20, 1967 authorized the
Governor to enter into a lease agreement the Peace Corps of
the United States for the camping facilities at Estate
Mandahl, St. Thomas.
Peace Corps (Continued)
These facilities were constructed with monies borrowed
from the Government Insurance Fund.
The facilities were built on land known as No. 1513 and 16
Estate Mandahl comprising a total area of 10.18 acres of land.
In 1973 as stipulated under the 1963 agreements between
the Peace Corps and the local government, the end of the ten
yearswas completed. Even though it was also initially sti-
pulated that a renewal could be an option, this was not the
case and the local government regained control of the land
Overcrowding of the schools in the east caused double
sessions in such school as Joseph Gomez and Sibilly. The
then Commissioner, Harold Haizlip requested the use of these
facilities to.ease the over-flow of pupils and the Peace
Corps School at Mandahl came into being.
Kirwan Terrace School
Location: Bourne Field, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-7385; 774-3382
Type: Elementary; limited Special Education; Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 650
Act No. 1280 which was approved on November 20, 1964 by
the Fifth Legislature designated the newly constructed public
housing project in the Bourne Field area as -the Michael J.
This legislation was an effort in behalf of the people
of the Virgin Islands.
To express their gratitude to Michael J. Kirwan, a member
of the House of Representatives who served as a friend for the
Virgin Islands. When many important measures affecting the
well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands had to pass
through the sub-committee of which he was the chairman he
showed great interest and pushed for the passage of laws
which were important to Virgin Islanders.
Sometime later a school was built to meet the needs of
the people in this area and the school was named the Micheal
J. Kirwan Terrace School.
Joseph Sibilly School
Location: Estate Mafolie, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-7001; 774-0898
Type: Elementary: Limited Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 263
On March 6, 1973, Act No. 3395 was approved by the Tenth
Legislature which approved renaming the Robert Herrick
School on St. Thomas, the Joseph Sibilly School in recogni-
tion of the generous donations, community spirit and good works
of Mr. Joseph Sibilly.
Mr. Sibilly who was born on the island of St. Barthelemy
French West Indies, January 5, 1889 migrated to the United
States Virgin Islands and established residence on St. Thomas
During his life time he established himself as a dis-
tinguished community leader and active in local affairs.
Through his generosity he donated large tracts of land
to the local government for the construction of a church at
Estate Elizabeth, a public school and a community cemetery at
He also served in the Virgin Islands government as
Assistant Supervisor in the Department of Agriculture and
is credited with being responsible for the construction of
the Agricultural Station at Estate Dorothea.
Jane E. Tuitt School
Location: Levkoi Strade, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 774-0520
Type: Elementary: limited Ung.
Enrollemnt: 6/1/82: 429
In 1959 the Jane E. Tuitt School was dedicated in honor
of Miss Jane E. Tuitt as an expression of appreciation of the
people of the Virgin Islands for her forty-three years of
outstanding public service especially in the field of educa-
A native of the Virgin Islands, born in Christiansted,
St. Croix, Miss Tuitt later received her bachelor of science
degree at Hampton Institute Virginia and a masters degree
at Columbia University.
Beginning as an elementary school teacher, she served
at all levels of public education which included: elementary
school teacher on St. Croix, high school teacher, acting
principal at Charlotte Amalie High School, St. Thomas, Assist-
ant Superintendent of Education, St. Thomas/St. John, Director
of Elementary Schools in the Virgin Islands, Assistant Commis-
sioner of Education and Commissioner of Education, the posi-
tion from which she resigned in 1966.
Following her retirement from public, she accepted the
position and served as Associate Dean and Professor of Educa-
tion at the College of the Virgin Islands.
She has been honored by the Seventh Legislature with a
testimonial of recognition and appreciation which was presented
to her in a fitting ceremony.
In addition, many other organizations have followed in
this vein and have honored her through many forms of expres-
Edith L. Williams School
Location: Estate Charlotte Amalia, St. Thomas
Telephone: (809) 775-0820
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 206
This-school carries quite an historic record as it was
one of the first three built by the Moravian Missionaries in
the then Danish West Indies. (see text on Dober School)
Initially its enrollment consisted of children of
Moravians only,was changed when government laws made educa-
As was the Danish Custom of naming schools for the area
in which they were located this school was initially called
"Quartee" School, then was changed to'New Hernhutt School'
which further showed its affiliations with Moravians. The
building served as a church and a school in which the minis-
ter served as a teacher and preacher.
The original building was a wooden two-room construction
with an out-door privy. It was later rebuilt by the Sibilly
Construction Company and named Jamed. Madison School in honor
of the fourth president of the United States.
On December 15, 1981 the Fourteenth Legislature of the
Virgin Islands renamed the James Madison Elementary School
of St. Thomas the Edith L. Williams Elementary School in
recognition of forty-five years of devotion, dedication and
distinguished services to the people of the Virgin Islands
especially in the field of education.
Starting as a classroom teacher in 1900 she worked under
the supervision of the Moravians, a religious group who was
delegated governing powers of the schools by the Danes. A
strict disciplinarian, she taught the three R's, religious
instruction and concentrated her energies in molding the
character of each pupil.
Born in 1887 the pioneer educator, taught at many of the
earlier schools and when she was finally transferred to the
rural school in estate Charlotte Amalia, she walked the mile
and a half distance twice a day.
Edith L. Williams (Continued)
She served the people of the Virgin Islands as a teacher,
surrogate mother, spiritual counsellor, civic and sports
She accepted a challenge willingly and in 1935 she was
one of several females who challenged the right to vote which,
by law, was denied females of that era and all persons not
having prescribed financial assets.
As a result of this case those persons engaged in the
challenge were able to vote in December of 1936 and in 1938
universal suffrage was granted.
The Edith L. Williams School is a fitting tribute to the
memory of this grand lady.
Guy Benjamin School
Location: Coral Bay, St. John
Telephone: (809) 776-6242
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 79
On June 4, 1975, Act No. 3695 approved by the Eleventh
Legislature of the Virgin Islands changed the name of the
Benjamin Franklin School on St. John to the Guy Benjamin
School in honor of the forty years of devoted and distin-
guished service of Mr. Guy Benjamin.
He began his service in the Department of Education in
1933 as a classroom teacher in several schools on St. John
and St. Thomas. Later on he was assigned principal-teacher
at Benjamin Franklin School for 12 years and was later
appointed Education Officer, followed by being appointed
coordinator of educational programs.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Howard
University and a Master of Arts from New York University.
During his sabbatical leave he traveled and studied in
Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
Julius E. Sprauve School
Location: Cruz Bay, St. John
Telephone: (809) 776-6336
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 419
On June 4, 1957, Resolution No. 64 was passed which desig-
nated the public school at Cruz Bay St. John as the Julius
E. Sprauve School in recognition of the twenty years of service
in the Legislature and record of achievements of the late
Senator Julius E. Sprauve, Scnator from St. John.
Clarice Thomas Annex
Clarice Adina Thomas was born on St. John, during Danish
colonization on March 10, 1904. Her elementary education was
earned at Bethany School after which she journeyed to St.
Thomas for her secondary training and eventually acquired a
Bachelor degree at Morgan State University.
Subsequently she served as teacher in grades first
through ninth. After more than 40 years of service in educa-
tion she retired. The annex to the Julius Sprauve School
where she taught for many years has been named in her honor.
The Alfredo Andrews School
Location: Kingshill, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 778-1925
Type: Elementary: limited Special Education; Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/83: 762
On November 26, 1973, Act No. 3500 authorized the designa-
tion of the new school at Estate Fredensborg, St. Croix as
the Alfredo Andrews School in honor of the memory of the late
Alfredo Andrews and of his dedication and contribution to the
educational system of the Virgin Islands.
Mr. Andrews, a native Crucian was born on St. Croix on
July 14, 1913 and died July, 1971.
A product of the local educational system, in 1951, he
earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Inter-American Universi-
ty of Puerto Rico and additional credits towards a master's
degree also from Inter-American University.
In his 35 years in the local educational system he served
as a teacher at the (defunct) Diamond School, Assistant
Principal at Christiansted Grammar (now Juanita Gardine) and
Principal at the La Valle Princess now Theodora Dunbavin and
Slob Rural and Emanuel Schools.
Through these years he distinguished himself as a dedi-
cated and talented educator and administrator.
Elena Christian Junior High School
Christiansted, St. Croix
Junior High; limited Special Education and Ung.
The Ninth Legislature of the Virgin Islands in 1971
publicly recognized the contributions of Elena L. Christian
to her community by renaming in her honor the Christiansted
Junior High School, the Elena Christian Junior High School.
Born in Basseterre St. Kitts, Mrs. Christian came to St.
Croix at a very early age and lived most of her life there.
She began her teaching career in 1912, has captured for her-
self a golden record by contributing fifty-five years of
dedicated and distinguished service.
When she retired in 1967, the Seventh Legislature passed
a Resolution and gave a testimonial in recognition of and
appreciation for her contributions to her community.
Additional accolades are many and her civic participation
are just as numerous. More can be read about Mrs. Christian
in Profiles, a compilation of outstanding Virgin Islanders.
Theodora Dunbavin School
Location: Estate La Grande Princess, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 773-0015
Organization: Kindergarten and Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 60
Act No. 3561 authorized the re-naming of the La Princess
School at Estate La Grande Princesse, St. Croix the Theodora
Dunbavin School in honor of Miss Theodora Dunbavin for her
distinguished and dedicated service throughout her lengthy
career as a public school educator and administrator.
Mrs. Dunbavin has given a total of forty-four years to
the Government of the Virgin Islands. Starting on September
1923 he worked for twenty-one years as a teacher, nineteen
years as a principal and four years as a Deputy Commissioner,
Chairperson of the Title III Elementary and Secondary Educa-
tion Act (ESEA) for the V.I.
To achieve distinction in her career Miss Dunbavin en-
rolled on on-island study programs offered by Polythecnic
(now Inter-American) and Hampton Institute. She earned her
Bachelor of Arts degree in administration and general educa-
tion from New York University.
Even though retired since July 1967, she continues to
actively participate in community affairs which include
Director of Friedenstahl Moravian Church School.
To implement his ordinance of 1839 which mandated compul-
sory education throughout the islands, Governor-General Peter
Von Scholten later established the first school on St. Croix.
La Grande Princess has the distinction of being the first
school opened up in 1841. By 1842 eight other schools were
established on St. Croix.
It was not until around 1844-46 that such schools were
opened up on St. Thomas and St. John even though there were
church schools already in existence.
Charles Emanuel School
Estate Kingshill, Christiansted, St. Croix
Act No. 104 passed on July 11, 1958 by the Legislature
of the Virgin Islands designated the proposed public high
school on St. Croix as the Charles H. Emanuel School in
honor of Charles H. Emanuel, a good citizen inspired educa-
tor and devoted public servant.
Mr. Emanuel dedicated his adult life to the teaching and
educational development of students in the island of St.
Croix while he served as principal of the Diamond Rural School,
His commitment to public service was vividly demonstra-
ted through his untiring zeal in the training of youth over
his career, and in his devotion to the highest ideals of his
The Juanita Gardine Public Grammar School
Location: Christiansted, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 773-0040
Type: Elementary; limited Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 1,067
As approved on March 11, 1974, Act No. 3537 was designed
to express appreciation of the people of the Virgin Islands
for many years of outstanding services of Mrs. Juanita
Gardine and in addition,mandate the renaming of the Christian-
sted Grammar School, Christiansted, St. Croix in honor of Mrs.
Juanita Forbes Gardine.
A native Crucian, she attended both the Christiansted
Grammar and Christiansted Junior High but completed high school
in New York.
Her career in education range through the educational
spectrum, beginning as an elementary school teacher, serving
next as high school teacher, acting assistant high school
principal, junior high school principal, assistant super-
intendent of education, associate Dean-Community College,
high school principal, supervisor of educational statistics,
social worker and principal of the Juanita Gardine School.
She is currently pursuing advanced training at the University
Alexander Henderson School
Location: Estate Concordia, Frederiksted, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 773-1330
Type: Elementary; limited Special Education; Ung.
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 755
Approved July 10, 1972, Act No. 3241 authorized the re-
naming of the former Concordia School on Estate Concordia,
Frederiksted St. Croix the Alexander Henderson School in
honor of Mr. Alexander Henderson.
Mr. Henderson, born on Frederiksted St. Croix on June 16,
1914 was worthy of such recognition for twenty-seven years of
distinguished service in a variety of responsible positions
in the field of education. Prominent among these positions
were teacher, Acting Principal and Principal of the (defunct)
Frederiksted Junior High School, Christiansted Grammar (now
Juanita Gardine), Principal of Claude O. "arkoe, Director of
Research and Statistics in the Department of Education and
finally Director of Research.
While serving as principal of Claude 0. Markoe he was
responsible for organizing the school under a comprehensive
plan, K-12. However due to later developments the organiza-
tion was changed to K-8 and eventually to K-6.
Mr. Henderson has also distinguished himself as an author
of many articles relative to education and other fields. Of
utmost significance was his "History of Public Education in
the Virgin Islands," which appeared in Education in the States:
Historical Development and Outlook, "The Steel Band," ard
"March-Virgin Islands Month."
The Pearl B. Larsen School
Location: Estate St. Peter's Christiansted, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 773-3070
Type: Elementary; ungraded
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 760
Approved on July 10, 1982, Act No. 3239 designated the
former St. Peter's School in Christiansted as the Pearl B.
Larsen School as a tribute to Mrs. Pearl B. Larsen for
thirty years of devoted unselfish services to public educa-
tion in the Virgin Islands.
During this period of service she has held the positions
of Supervisor of Schools and Superintendent of Education, both
for the district of St. Croix and Supervisor of Secondary
Schools for the Virgin Islands.
She earned the respect affection and gratitude of the
people of the Virgin Islands for her meritorious service to
Claude 0. Markoe School
Location: Frederiksted, St. Croix
Type: Elementary; limited Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 801
An act, No.95, passed on May 22, 1958 by the Virgin
Islands Legislature established a new school at Frederiksted,
St. Croix with intent to consolidate and supplant the then
existing Grammar and Junior High Schools.
It further stated that this school be designated and
known from and after the date of its completion and dedica-
tion as the Claude O. Markoe School in honor of Claude O.
Markoe, good citizen,inspired educator and devoted public
A native of St. Croix, born in Frederiksted, Mr. Markoe
is a product of the local public schools who earned his
Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University
of Puerto Rico, dedicated his adult life unselfishly to the
teaching and educational development of the students of St.
The name Markoe (also Marcou) is of historical signifi-
cance both in national and local annals. Claude 0. Markoe is
the great-great-great grandson of Pierre Marcou, a French
hugenot who in escaping religious persecution at home landed
op St. Croix. Abrini Marcou the grandson of Pierre is
credited with designing the flag that flew at the head of the
column which escorted George Washington from Philadelphia to
Kings Bridge as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in
1775. To this flag Congress added the Union Jack which was
The Lew Muckle School
Location: Estate Sion Farm, Christiansted, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 773-1286
Type: Elementary; limited Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 718
Among other policies, Act No. 3040, approved on May 26,
1971 was also established to memoralize the public services
of the late Senator Lew Muckle and to designate the public
school at Estate Sion Farm, St. Croix as the Lew Muckle
Senator Muckle as a legislator, businessman, government
employee, youth counsellor, teacher, civic leader, husband
and father, had achieved at the age of 29 many of the goals
and accomplishments that few attain in twice the years
granted to Senator Muckle.
While serving as a senator he sponsored many legislative
bills designed to improve the general welfare of his consti-
tuents and in particular the youth of the Virgin Islands.
Arthur A. Richards Junior High School
Location: Frederiksted, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 772-1500
Type: Junior High; limited Special Education
Current Enrollment: 6/1/82: 1,279
Most fittingly, Act No. 897 approved on July 20, 1977
paid tribute to an outstanding Virgin Islander, Dr. Arthur
Richards by naming in his honor, the new school at Estate
Stoney Ground for his many accomplishments and contributions
as an educator.
Arthur Richards, (Ed.D.) President of the College of
the Virgin Islands is the son of Claude J and Evelyn (Dubois)
Richards and was born on St. Croix.
After receiving both his elementary and secondary educa-
tion from the local public school system he earned his
Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in 1948;
Master of Arts at Hampton Institute in 1961; International
Institute on Comparative Education, Italy and the Netherlands
1962. In 1965an Ed. D. was conferred on him by the New York
He has participated in various Institutes, seminars, work-
shops on many topics including management, labor relations,
education, the behavioral sciences, and computer uses.
His work experiences include teacher, junior high school
teacher, high school level, principal both elementary and
secondary, Deputy Commissioner of Education Department of
Education, Assistant Commissioner of Education, Provost and
Dean of the College of the Virgin Islands 1969-78; Vice
President and Provost of the College 1978-1980; President of
the College 1980-
Highly respected both locally and abroad for his con-
tributions and achievements, he also serves on many boards
and commissions, including but not limited to the Virgin
Islands Council on the Arts, V.I. Advisory Council on Voca-
tional and Technical Education, the National League for
Nursings ad hoc Committee on Review and Revision of the
Criteria for Accreditation, the Virgin Islands Rural Affairs
Council and the Virgin Islands Health Coordinating Council.
Ricardo Richards School
Location: Kingshill, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 778-0612
Act No. 3948, approved April 13, 1977 was established to
express the appreciation of the people of the Virgin Islands
for the many years of outstanding services of Mr. Ricardo
Richards to the Government of the Virgin Islands and to rename
the Strawberry School on St. Croix in honor of Mr. Ricardo
Mr. Richard's career in public education of the youth
of the Virgin Islands at all levels in education began in 1934
as an elementary school teacher at the now defunct Diamond
Later on his positions included teacher at the former
LaValle Frederiksted Junior High and former Frederiksted
Public Grammar School; Principal Claude 0. Markoe School, and
Property and Procurement Officer of the Division of Property
and Procurement of Auxilliary Services.
He retired from active duty on December 24, 1976 but will
be remembered for his outstanding contributions to the Virgin
Islands communities both within and outside the area of
The Eulalie Rivera School
Location: Estate Grove Place, Frederiksted, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 772-0831
Organization: K-6; limited Special Education
Enrollment: 6/1/82: 953
As approved on February 19, 1974 Act No. 3521 mandated
the renaming of the Grove Place Elementary School on Grove
Place St. Croix as the Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School in
honor of the great contributions to the teaching profession
of Mrs. Eulalie Castella Rohlsen Rivera.
A native of Frederiksted, St. Croix and a product of the
local educational system, Mrs. Rivera became interested in
teaching at an early age. In 1932 after completion of her
training she was awarded an Assistant Graded Teacher's License
and in 1934 earned a Principal's License.
Among the schools which she served as a teacher were the
former Diamond School, La Princess and Claude O. Markoe
In 1967 she received two outstanding awards. She was
named Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional
Women's Club and Teacher of the Year by the Claude O. Markoe
Most active in political, civic and religious activities,
Mrs. Rivera has been recently re-elected to the V.I. Board
oT Elections on which she was currently serving as Vice
Evelyn Williams School
Estate Mount Pleasant Frederiksted, St. Croix
Act No. 3812, approved on June 7, 1976 mandated the name
of the new elementary school at Estate Mount Pleasant in
Frederiksted be the Evelyn M. Williams School as a
lasting tribute to the outstanding works of Mrs. Evelyn
Williams in the St. Croix public school system.
A native of St. Croix Mrs. Williams dedicated forty-one
years of her life to the education of the youth in the local
public school system.
John H. Woodson School
Location: Friedensborg, St. Croix
Telephone: (809) 778-2710
Type: Junior High School
Enrollment: 11/1/82; 1,345
On March 30, 1981, the Fourteenth Legislature approved
Act No. 4528 which named the new junior high school at
Friedensborg, St. Croix, the John H. Woodson Junior High.
John Woodson was born in Brooklyn New York of West
Indian parentage and imigrated to Christiansted St. Croix in
1932 where he attended the elementary school. He returned
to New York City to complete his secondary education.
After service in the armed forces of the United States
he graduated in 1954 from New York University and returned
to the Virgin Islands where he worked in the Department of
Health as an X-ray Technican and Laboratory Technician.
In 1958 he resumed working with the Department of Educa-
tion where he served as a science teacher and subsequently
as a principal.
His scientific interests and abilities earned for him
successive invitations to attend the lift-off of the Gemini
V and Apollo XII space satellites and also being named
Virgin Islands Representative for the National Aeronautic and
Space Administration, (NASA).
His life has been acclaimed as exemplary to those who
wish to give of their best to the children of the Virgin
Heads of the local educational system 1917 to present as re-
searched and compiled by Charles W. Turnbull, Ph.D. Commis-
sioner of Education, United States Virgin Islands
1. O. Rubner Petersen 1917
2. M. Walter (Acting)* 1917
3. P. Kastrup (Acting) ** 1917
4. Henry C. Blair 1917-1919
5. Otto C. McDonough 1919-1921
6. Daniel R. Nase 1921-1923
7. Arthur E. Lindborg 1923-1931
8. George H. Ivins 1931-1935
9. C. Frederick Dixon 1935-1955
10. Raymond Thompson ** ) 1935-1955
11. A. Thurston Child ** ) 1935-1940
12. Frederick D. Dorsch **)
13. Pearl Byrd Larsen **) 1940-1955
14. Robert C. Cotton 1955
15. C. Frederick Dixon (Acting) 1955
16. Jane E. Tuitt (Acting) 1956-1957
17. Andrew C. Preston 1957-1960
18. Alonzo G. Moron 1960-1961
19. Jane E. Tuitt (Acting) 1961
20. Pedro C. Sanchez 1961-1963
21. Jane E. Tuitt 1963-1966
22. Arthur A. Richards 1967-1969
23. Charles W. Turnbull (Acting) 1969
24. Philip A. Gerard 1969-1970
25. Charles W. Turnbull (Acting) 1970-1971
26. Harold C. Haizlip 1971-1975
27. Gwendolyn E. Kean 1975-1978
28. Charles W. Turnbull 1979-
St. Thomas/St.John only
** St. Croix only
Dookhan, Isaac: A History. df 'the U.S. Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands Legislative Bills.
K. Fjelds4e: The Development of the Educational System
in the Danish West Indies, 1916.
Knox, John P.: An Historical Account of the St. Thomas
Larsen, Jens': Virgin Islands 'Story
Maynard, Oliver: A History of the Moravian Church,
Eastern West Indies Province.
Profiles of Outstanding Virgin Islands by Project
Virgin Islands Enrollment Data Sheet 6/1/82; Division of
Planning Research and Evaluation Department of