Aging Julius E. Spravue School Enjoys Excellent Year as New All-Island Facility Looms

Julius E. Sprauve School Principal Mario Francis is keeping an eye on the prize while he enjoys some success in bringing the island’s largest public school into the 21st century.

“This was an excellent year for education on St. John,” said Francis, who cited the school’s full staff and new textbooks as signs of progress.

“In general things are going good,” added the administrator of the Cruz Bay school. “Things can always be better.”

New School in Near Future?
For Francis and the staff and students of the aging facility serving kindergarten through grade nine, “better” will hopefully soon include a new educational complex out of town — with the first public St. John high school.

“That’s definitely what everyone is looking forward to,” said Francis, who is quick to add that he intends to be around for the transition to a new island public school.

For now, Francis is keeping an eye on the present.

“We started out with a full staff,” the school administrator said — with the exception of a vacancy in the music teacher position shared with the Guy H. Benjamin School in Coral Bay. “We are still at full staff.”

“I am still down my assistant principal,” added Francis. JESS Assistant Principal Dionne Wells, has been acting principal of the island’s other public school since the start of the school year while GBS principal Dr. Margaret Bowers is on medical leave.

“The faculty and staff have been extremely helpful,” Francis added.

In addition to a full complement of teachers,  JESS also has enjoyed new textbooks in science, social studies and foreign languages, the administrator added.

On the secondary level, students received new literature and grammar books, according to Francis.

At the elementary level there were updated books in language arts, he added.