Island Academics by Ben Biddle

GHS Takes Pride in Its Uniqueness

I have the challenge, and so the pleasure, of a great job — surrounded as I am each day by the energy at Gifft Hill School. The diverse forces on intense little St. John are elemental in school life — and make for a compelling workplace. Time quite flies. 

GHS students represent a wonderful mix of personalities, the school’s close-knit faculty is solid through and through, and our parent-body is surging in its involvement in school life.

Meanwhile, hard-won financial contributions continue to assist GHS through the difficulties that confront its mission — even as the concerted effort of its staff affirms for the school its essential place in the St. John community.

With a newly formed Operational Board of 12 members, as well as a new development office, GHS is ready to proceed to its next phase and we hope this process will bring many more students through our doors.

What I appreciate most about leading GHS is seeing the school — students, parents, faculty — taking pride in its unique attributes.

Assembling its character from among the population and social currents of St. John, GHS is destined to a bit of eccentricity — and yet this should be embraced. An important discovery I have made in my five years at Gifft Hill School is plant no flag too soon.

This is to say GHS must be patient, thoughtful — and take all the time necessary to consider how best to answer the needs of education on St. John.

In Letters to Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke says: “… the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

GHS lives plenty of questions; the answers, then, are a matter of time — and long considerations of how best to serve students on St. John.