The Virgin Islands Department of Education (DOE), St. Croix District Office of the Insular Superintendent recognized 250 students at its Shining Stars Celebration on Sunday, March 24, at the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School.
The ceremony recognized students in public elementary, junior high and senior high schools who scored the highest or made a significant improvement on the 2018 Fall Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Acting Insular Superintendent Carlos McGregor expressed how the beneficial the assessment is to schools.
“The more Shining Stars (students) we see at these celebrations, the more resources from our federal government we’ll receive for our schools from computers and Promethean boards to laptops and professional development trainings.”
The superintendent took time to acknowledge Board of Education member Winona Hendricks, who was present, and Senator Alicia Barnes, who shared some supporting words.
“I would like to commend the Department of Education, the administrators, teachers, faculty and staff for all that you do to empower and educate the best and most important resource in the Virgin Islands, our students,” said Barnes. “It is very important that we stress the academic excellence in our students,” she said.
Barnes not only came as a senator to show support but also as a parent; her daughter, Nia Sylvester, exceeded state achievement standards on the assessment.
St. Croix District Director of Data and Assessments Saul Santiago, Ph.D., expressed his satisfaction with the students’ performance and gave some background on how the Smarter Balanced Assessment is configured.
“As the District Director of Data and Assessments, I couldn’t be more proud of these students and their achievements,” he said.
“The two highest levels on the assessment are proficient and advanced. Proficient students meet the achievement standards for their grade level. But the students being recognized here today went beyond their grade level! They were advanced in math or the English/Language Arts.”
The same Smarter Balanced Assessment that the students took are administered to all schools across the nation.
“Out of the 2,300 students who took the exams last fall in St. Croix, this group represents the top 10 percent in our district.”
“We’re also honoring students who are not necessarily advanced but have made significant progress on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. These students and their teachers have shown how hard work and perseverance can translate into remarkable results in academics,” said Santiago.
The ceremony continued with the recognition of students. Schools were called up individually, and they received a certificate, a medal and a pin. Light refreshments were available for students and families following the ceremony.
Acting Deputy Superintendent Carla Bastian, Ph.D., closed out the event by expressing her gratitude to all stakeholders on behalf of the district.
“Students, I expect you to continue to do your best. Parents, I want to say thank you for continuing to push our children. You play an important part in what we recognized here today. To our teachers, our administrators and our school staff, we also say thank you for your daily contributions to our students’ success.
ST. CROIX DISTRICT SHINING STARS
Alexander Henderson Elementary School
Claude O. Markoe Elementary School
Alfredo Andrews Elementary School
Ahniyah Malaiyah Mason
Carl Justine Consulta
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Travon St. Ville
Juanita Gardine Elementary School
Laila Paula Joseph
Lew Muckle Elementary School
Henry Medina Moreno
Arthur A. Richards Jr. High School
Alexander Avila- Guadelupe
Ricardo Richards Elementary School
Masai Matthias Miller
Tiera J’Nai Polanco
Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School
Frambelys Luna Polanco
Isolde Diaz Belle
Daniela De La Rosa Castro
Kristhailis Dominguez Valera
Cheniel Silva Quinones
John H. Woodson Jr. High School
Carmindy Nicole Pickering
T’Naejah Aniyah Williams
Elena Christian Jr. High School
St. Croix Educational Complex
Angel La Force
Omar De Haza
Kyle Phil Lewis
St. Croix Central High School