Virgin Islands Department of Education educators were honored by representatives from Edmentum, an online learning provider, for their innovation in virtual teaching during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognition ceremonies were held on Jan. 25 and 27 in the St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John districts, respectively, to highlight educators who displayed tremendous leadership, skill and passion using online technology to ensure students could continue learning while schools were closed due to COVID-19. The educators were nominated by their school administrators.
During the ceremonies, St. Thomas-St. John District Superintendent Stefan Jurgen, Ph.D., and St. Croix District Acting Superintendent Ericilda Ottley-Herman praised the educators for their resilience and creativity.
“Every school has at least one shining star that pushed and found an innovative way to not only move their children along, but also their colleagues along with them,” Ottley-Herman said. “In every building, there are teacher-leaders, there are friends, and everyone becomes a family. We wanted to turn our eyes inward and recognize the hardworking educators in the St. Croix District.”
Jurgen praised the department’s partnership with Edmentum. “At the start of the pandemic, we thought our children were coming back after three weeks,” he said, adding, “but those three weeks [have] turned into almost two years, but Edmentum was right there. We didn’t have to look far; they reached out to us and informed us that there were additional services on their platform that we were already paying for that could be used to support us through the pandemic. We are grateful for their partnership.”
Educators recognized in the St. Croix District included Chantelle Green-Quinones, John H. Woodson Jr. High; Shanice Joseph, Claude O. Markoe Elementary; Petrine Allen, Alfredo Andrews Elementary; William Cofiell, St. Croix Educational Complex; Jacqueline Rosa, Eulalie R. Rivera K-8; Ashley Maynard, Juanita Gardine K-8; Wendy Wynter, Lew Muckle Elementary; Etta Lee Pickering-Mitchell, Pearl B. Larsen PreK-8; Harolyn Smith, Ricardo Richards Elementary; and Zina Dore, Central High.
Educators recognized in the St. Thomas-St. John District included Judityh Henley-Charles; Jane E. Tuitt Elementary; Jessica Sibilly, Jane E. Tuitt Elementary; Omayra Ortiz Richardson, Lockhart Elementary; Juanna Hart, Ulla F. Muller Elementary; Andria Collins Brown, Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary; Sophia Neille, Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary; Yolanda Riviera, Addelita Cancryn; Shawambi Brown, BCB Middle School; Miriam Rodney, Edith Williams Alternative Academy; Mary Felix, Charlotte Amalie High School; and Asliar Williams, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School.
School counselors recognized in the St. Thomas-St. John District included Shaneen Bradshaw, Ivanna Eudora Kean; Kiri Catta, Joseph Gomez Elementary; Lorna Daniel, Charlotte Amalie High School; Tameka Dewindt-Vanterpool, BCB Middle School; Alyster Edwards, Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary; Melrona George, Charlotte Amalie High School; Youville Leatham, Addelita Cancryn; Tova Greene-Oquendo, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School; Vaniqua Gumbs, BCB Middle School; Onika Hodge-Smith, Charlotte Amalie High School; Myroon Hosein, Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary; Celestina LaPenna, Jane E. Tuitt; Maria Lewis, Lockhart Elementary; Monique Matthias, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School; Lloyd Maynard, Addelita Cancryn School; Cynthia DeSouza, Julius E. Sprauve School; Annette Smith, Joseph Gomez Elementary; Scherilette Smith, Joseph Sibilly Elementary; Shernelle Smith, Addelita Cancryn School; Marva Thomas, Ulla F. Muller Elementary; Simona Thomas, Edith Williams Alternative Academy; and Tiana Wilson Matthew, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School.