Julius E. Sprauve School welcomed its students back with a grand celebration and pep rally on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Education officials, parents, the St. John community and well-wishers lined the halls and cheered students on as they marched toward their new modular classrooms.
Sprauve Assistant Principal Jeune Provost was especially excited to start the 2018-19 school year. “It is going to be a wonderful year for our teachers, students and staff. We are so grateful for the support that we have received from the community and we are really looking forward to seeing our students grow and prosper in these state-of-the-art classrooms,” she said.
“The students will be challenged by the increased rigor of a full day of instruction, but I am confident that the support of our teachers and staff will make that transition easier for our students,” said Provost.
Upon arrival, students filled the cafetorium and were greeted by Provost. The morning’s assembly began with a prayer by Rev. Carlyle O. Sampson of Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cruz Bay. Following the blessing, Principal Marion Esannason welcomed the students. She thanked Gov. Kenneth Mapp, St. John Administrator Camille Parris, Education Commissioner Sharon Ann McCollum, St. Thomas-St. John District Insular Superintendent Dionne Wells-Hedrington, AECOM and the Sprauve school family for their support in reopening the school for the 2018-19 year.
The principal also gave special recognition to the St. John community for showing up to welcome the students back to school. “A special thank you, the St. John community — you are important stakeholders in shaping the lives of our future leaders — this is truly your school. In spite of the hurricanes, we are blessed and privileged to remain one school that will continue to be a beacon of light in this community,” she said.
Wells-Hedrington, a former Sprauve School principal and fellow St. John native, said, “It has been a long journey, and I’m happy to be here with you this morning. This is the first modular school to open in this district—the St. Thomas-St. John—and in the territory. It is an accomplishment; we are truly grateful; we are truly blessed.”
The former principal further encouraged parents to be more involved in the school community. “To my parents, we need you to be actively involved in what’s happening at Sprauve. Education does not start and end with a school — it begins with you parents.”
Following the welcome, parents, Education officials and community well-wishers lined the halls to cheer students on as they paraded through the existing building to their new modular classrooms on the ballfield.
“I really like the modular units. We had our doubts, but we are really pleased with the outcome,” said Thomas Mathews, local business owner of Our Market Smoothies and Ice Cream. Matthews offered free ice cream to students and teachers in celebration of the opening of the new school year. “All of us can be great because greatness comes by service and looking out for each other. We want to welcome back our students and staff.”
McCollum also attended the celebration and was amazed by the overwhelming support by the St. John community. “This has been a fantastic opening for the school. We are very pleased to have our children back in school as well as our faculty and staff. The energy is very positive and extremely high, and our challenge now is to keep the positive energy going and to have all of our students succeeding and learning in these new classrooms,” she said.