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HomeCommentaryOpen forumOpen forum: Board of Education Celebrates Virgin Islands History Month

Open forum: Board of Education Celebrates Virgin Islands History Month

Bertha C. Boschulte was an educator, women’s rights activist, statistician and politician — a part of Virgin Islands history. (Submitted photo)

The 21st Virgin Islands Board of Education (Board) reminds the community that March is Virgin Islands History Month. Let us as Virgin Islanders be proud of our diverse cultural heritage, which includes literature, music, art, and food. V.I. History Month gives us a chance to celebrate the numerous aspects of our culture and history that we frequently overlook.

Numerous notable educators, including the late Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, Ph.D., the late Ruth E. Thomas and the late J. Antonio Jarvis; well-known legislators, such as the late Ruby M. Rouss and the late Lorraine L. Berry; and award-winning physicians such as Dr. Alfred O. Heath and the late Gov. Roy L. Schneider, MD, can be found throughout our history. It gives our children a sense of pride and determination to learn about these people who walked the same ground as our children do today and reminds us of our ancestors.

Throughout this month, the Board will honor several individuals who have contributed greatly to our community and left an indelible mark on society today. This week, we pay tribute to Bertha C. Boschulte, a well-known educator.

Bertha C. Boschulte was an American educator, women’s rights activist, statistician and politician who was born on March 8, 1906, and passed away on Aug. 18, 2004. She actively advocated for women’s suffrage in the Virgin Islands while working as a teacher. She held the position of director of the Statistical Service from 1952 to her appointment as director of the Division of Vital Records and Statistical Services following her completion of her Master’s in Public Health. She headed the Department of Health’s General Services from 1955 to 1957.

Boschulte ran for a seat in the Senate and was successful in 1964, and she served only one term. She was elected chair of the Virgin Islands Board of Education in 1970 after serving as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women from 1969 to 1970. The Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School was named in her honor when the brand-new Middle High School in Bovoni Estate opened in 1976.

Virgin Islanders have demonstrated their resilience over time. From major hurricanes and economic downtowns to chattel slavery, we have faced and overcome many obstacles. We are reminded of our long rich history of perseverance in the face of odds when we learn about our past.

Let us engage our students in cultural activities for the remainder of this special month, such as going on trips to historic locations, attending cultural events, and inviting guest speakers to share their knowledge of Virgin Islands history.

We at the 21st Virgin Islands Board of Education would like to wish everyone a happy Virgin Islands History Month.

The Virgin Islands Board of Education

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