Aug. 26, 2003 – The Education Department, in cooperation with the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, welcomed 56 new St. Croix district public school teachers and support personnel in a ceremony Friday at Government House in Christiansted.
A similar ceremony was held on St. Thomas on Thursday.
Dignitaries at the St. Croix gathering included Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards; Education Commissioner Noreen Michael, Assistant Commissioner Rita Howard and Superintendent Terrence T. Joseph; Sen. Ronald E. Russell, who chairs the Senate Education and Youth Committee; Frank Fox, chamber president; and guest speaker James Sealey.
For the last three years, the Chamber of Commerce has joined the department in welcoming the new hires. This year's new teachers were presented with tote-size goodie bags containing water bottles, pencils, pens, caps, perfumes and other items donated by chamber businesses.
The new hires consist of 23 elementary school teachers, 12 secondary school teachers, 16 special education teachers, four school nurses and one Junior ROTC instructor. Ten of the teachers are men.
Alscess Lewis-Brown, Education human resources director, welcomed the "newest educators of tomorrow's leaders" and applauded them for their career choice. "Teaching is an awesome responsibility and a gift not to be taken lightly, she said, citing both the "challenges and demands" of teaching and the "personal gratification" to be gleaned.
While there will be challenges, Michael told the new faculty members, the opportunity to "shape and impact the lives of those you will be teaching will be stimulating and rewarding." She challenged the teachers to "wholeheartedly accept the charge of providing a holistic learning experience for your students … knowing that the measure of success is the degree of impact you have upon the lives of those with whom you work, teach and counsel."
Young people provided musical entertainment as part of the program.
Camille "Derby" Macedon and his Young Junior Calypsonians strummed banjos and sang traditional calypsos to the delight of the crowd.
At the end of the program, the Educational Complex Caribbean Fusion Band entertained with popular numbers such as "Hot and Groovy" and "Sak Passe." The 22-member band is the school's first brass ensemble to perform cultural music. It consists of four trumpeters, three trombonists, seven saxophonists, two keyboardists, a bassist, a guitarist and four vocalists.
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