Academy Reopens to Staggered Spirit Week

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~Welcomes 90 new students ~

Cul de Sac, St. Maarten – St. Maarten Academy’s academic campus will be welcoming 90 new students as it starts a staggered face-to-face reopening on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Kim Lucas-Felix has taken the helm as acting principal, as the school’s Manager, drs. Tallulah Baly-Vanterpool is out on medical leave. Lucas-Felix herself was seriously ill over the last 18 months, but said she felt it was important to return at this point to ensure a smooth continuity of education at the institution.

She has put together a leadership team that includes English teacher, Ms. Joanna Trim as acting Vice Principal; all Heads of Department – Mrs. Amanda President-Joe (Student Care), Ms. Doreen Edwards (English), Mr. Julian Mason (Information Technology), Mrs. Collette Jones-Chin (Expressive Arts), Mr. Alberick Arrendell (Mathematics), Ms. Anansa Payne (Social Sciences). Mr. Jude Piper (Science), Ms. Maura Bute Urbain (Business Studies), Mrs. Marita Lagadeau (Dutch), and Ms. Tryfena Wehl (Modern Languages); and the two Year Coordinators, Mrs. Souad Meskini-Azbouni and Ms. Chioma Jacobs.

This week, only Form 1 students are to report to school on ‘Motivational Monday’ (August 9). Form 2 students must be there on ‘Team Building Tuesday’ (August 10), ‘Whimsical Wednesday’ (August 11) for third formers, ‘Thankful Thursday’ (August 12) for fourth formers, and fifth formers will be required to be at school on ‘FUNtastic Friday’ (August 13).

This year’s theme is ‘Moving Forward Together with Excellence in Mind’.

All Covid-19 regulations will be in place and all persons (staff, parents, and students) coming on campus must wear a mask, adhere to the social distancing guidelines, and sanitize regularly. They will have their temperature checked at the gate and the Management of the school is asking parents and students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to do the responsible thing by notifying the school and not come to school until they have been cleared by a doctor.

Several new initiatives for both teachers and students will be implemented this year as the Management of Academy strives to navigate a balanced school life amid the ongoing pandemic. Teachers and staff were briefed at a spirited breakfast meeting on Tuesday, where the main message was that all must take care of their mental and physical health in order to be able to take care of the close to 500 students that will be at the Forms 1 – 5 level this year.

Students at all levels will be able to explore their business acumen with the introduction of ‘Entrep Friday’, which will be held once per month. Students must register for this venture, as well as all clubs, sporting activities, and the after-school programme during Spirit Week this week.

Sports coaches Jacky Brown (softball), Omar Beauperthuy (basketball), Harrien Baptiste (soccer) and Franklyn Carty (swimming) will be on hand to promote a healthy lifestyle for all students and engage parents and students who would like to register for these extra-curricular activities. Once registered for these activities, students will be able to earn credits as part of a new Merits programme this year.

All first form students will be introduced to Agricultural Science under the instruction of veteran science teacher, Ms. Patricia Mendonca. Another Physical Education teacher, Ms. Ranish Sullivan, has joined the staff and this will allow students interested in a career in sports to write the subject at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. Other new teachers are Mr. Jerimiah Clarke (Mathematics), Mrs. Thekara Chandler (Chemistry and Mathematics), and Mrs. Collette Jones-Chin (Visual Arts and Theatre Arts).

Students are encouraged to be in full uniform during Spirit Week as their school ID card and Yearbook photos will be taken. The Management of St. Maarten Academy would like to take this opportunity to welcome all parents and students to the academic year 2021-2022. “We are recommitting to working together with teachers and staff to ensure a successful and well-balanced academic year for all in our care,” said Lucas-Felix, Principal (ag).