WTJX Special Viewing of International Jazz Day From Cuba

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WTJX-TV presents a special screening of PBS's "International Jazz Day From Cuba." More than 50 world-renowned artists come together for an extraordinary International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert from the Gran Teatro de La Habana in Havana, Cuba. International Jazz Day is the one day each year that jazz is celebrated worldwide, bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities in all 196 UN and UNESCO member nations. The concert’s many historic moments include a first-time collaboration between bassist Esperanza Spalding and Cuban music legend Bobby Carcassés, and stellar emceeing from host Will Smith and music legend Quincy Jones. Other highlights include a swinging rendition of Gershwin’s “There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York” by vocalist Kurt Elling and Chilean sax phenom Melissa Aldana, a haunting take on “Bésame Mucho” from Korean vocalist Youn Sun Nah and violinist Regina Carter, and an explosive original performance by more than a dozen of Cuba’s top veteran jazz musicians. Come out, feel the rhythm with WTJX-TV and see it on the big screen Monday, May 21st at the VI Montessori School, St. Thomas at 6 pm.

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Checkmate! Scholastic Chess Tournament


The last scholastic chess tournament of the year was held at CAHS on Saturday, May 12. The tournament rules followed the Swiss system, G30 which means each player played four rounds with 30 minutes on the clock per game. According to the Swiss system, the more you win the harder each progressive round gets. Prizes and trophies for this tournament were sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas II. 

The STT/STJ Chess Association has received enough funding to go on a trip this year.  The top 16 players from the islands will be invited to participate in a tournament in Florida in December, all expenses paid. All the winners listed here will be invited to participate in this event, except for Emmanuel Estrella, who is a graduating senior.  

Tournament Winners:

 9 and under: First place, Eli Blondeau from Antilles School; Second place, Ger’ Lanni from Sibily School and Third place, Drake Walters from Montessori School.

12 and under: First place, Ajay Mirpuri from Antilles School; Second place, Miles Tolud from Montessori School; and Third place Jermaine Jones Gomez School

13 and over: First place, Marco Emile from Ivanna Eudora Kean School; Second place, Emmanuel Estrella (CAHS) and Third place Jean Virey (Eudora Kean)

Rohan Nagi was also selected to represent the VI in Florida this coming December. Congratulations to all participants.

Knowledge Has a Beginning But No End


Congratulations to Peter Gruber International Academy instructor Alex Silva and Montessori instructor Kate Ludick for proactively working on furthering their education. Both talented instructors applied for and received full scholarships to an amazing teacher training program at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research! 

The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation has built a nationally recognized and fully accredited program with a stellar reputation for giving teachers access to unparalleled information and experiences. To date, they have trained more than 1000 middle and high school science teachers and informal science educators from all 50 states and nine other countries. Participants spend their days in intensive study in the Conservation Education Lab and their evenings at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, engaging with staff members and acquiring invaluable new skills to take back to their home campuses. During the workshop, teachers work together to frame content standards in the context of wildlife conservation and explore ways to challenge students to apply textbook knowledge of life science to current biodiversity challenges. Participants engage in activities that focus on critical issues facing endangered species using a variety of advanced technical tools and techniques; all activities support the Next Generation Science Standards and can be implemented back in the classroom.

Congratulations Alex and Kate!

Keep Calm and Think Prom

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It’s that time of year when millions of teens prepare for the much awaited prom night. That’s right, it is prom time and high school students across the nation are eagerly making plans for undoubtedly the most important dance of their high school years.

Last Saturday marked a memorable event and a dream come true for our seniors and juniors. With the support of gracious sponsors and donors and the collaboration with All Saints Cathedral and Gifft Hill schools, a special prom took place. Students enjoyed dancing, karaoke, rap improvisation and the company of good friends. PGIA students voted Daicya and Jalen as Princess and Prince, Kobe and Amoi as Queen and King. They also voted Candice and Caleb as Best Dancers, Silas for Best Hairstyle, Vanshika and Karl as Best Couple, Jalen and T'Leah as Best Dressed. We'd like to thank our supporters: Yacht Haven Grande, DJ Tony T, Mr. Kevin Wattley from Winx Flix, Chef Nibbs, Plaza Extra Supermarket, Nicole Tulk and friend Ellen, Blooming Things Flower Shop, and Mrs. Liza Margolis who is a parent and the Senior Coordinator of Donor Relations and Events at UVI.

PGIA students would like to especially thank Eman Passarella for her leadership, time and support!

New Tradition: Alumni Induction Ceremony


With new times, come new traditions. On Wednesday, May 16 Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) seniors were welcomed into the Alumni Association through an induction ceremony. Each senior was welcomed into the association by a current alumni of VIMSIA. This ceremony was created to formally represent the transition from the status of undergraduate member to alumni status within VIMSIA. It was a surprise to all when our guest alumni were also inducted into our newly established Alumni Association. All members received an alumni pin, certificate of recognition and a VOLT bracelet. A special thanks goes out to our guest alumni: Tess Monsanto, Vernon Araujo, Alayna Belshe, Melissa Bump, Shane Brunt, Ched Sharpless and Tommy Brunt. Congratulations to all!

Karen Gauriloff takes 3rd place in the congressional arts competition

 Karen Gauriloff - 3rd Place

Karen Gauriloff - 3rd Place

Congratulations to PGIA Junior, Karen Gauriloff, for taking 3rd place in VICA's Congressional Arts Competition held this month.  Syna Sharma, PGIA 9th grade, also had two pieces entered in the competition.  The works entered in this competition were top notch.  Kudos to these young ladies and PGIA Arts Teacher Ms. Ferguson for making the effort to represent VIMSIA and the PGIA in this quality event.

 Syna Sharma

Syna Sharma

 Syna with reception hosts

Syna with reception hosts

 Syna Sharma

Syna Sharma

DP Art Show - Gallery Event for Seniors


The PGIA International Baccalaureate DP Visual Art class hosted their Exhibition on April 20th, 2018.  Silas Wisehart, Leah Gaskin and Nalani Figueroa's work showcased their exploration of works over the course of the two year DP Program.  The creations from these young artists are stunning.  Enjoy.


Graphic media, created with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. The photo is of me and is teacher-taken. The word clouds on the caution tape were formed with WordArt.com, a website that creates word clouds in custom shapes. The words in the background are a combination of quotes from rappers NF, Witt Lowry, and Logic, and sayings that I came up with.

This piece strives to discuss the general topics that are swept under the rug by mainstream media (depression, anxiety, suicide, etc.) The caution tape represents the wall that the media puts up against these topics, and I ironically placed the topics on the caution tape. The quotes in the background describe these issues that I put on the caution tape, especially focusing on depression and suicide. My inspiration for this project was from rappers NF, Witt Lowry, and Logic’s lyrics.

Senior - Leah Gaskin

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 I Walk.  Acrylic Paint on Canvas  6 x 6 cm  The bible tells a story where Jesus walks on water in the middle of a storm and through faith and trust someone can walk with him. We each are walking through our own storms and could use a little faith.  This abstract piece has darker tones, bold lines, and isn’t clear as to what it is. Our lives never show a clear picture. This piece is to remind us that although we may have our little or big storms, through faith and trust you can overcome anything.  

I Walk.

Acrylic Paint on Canvas

6 x 6 cm

The bible tells a story where Jesus walks on water in the middle of a storm and through faith and trust someone can walk with him. We each are walking through our own storms and could use a little faith.  This abstract piece has darker tones, bold lines, and isn’t clear as to what it is. Our lives never show a clear picture. This piece is to remind us that although we may have our little or big storms, through faith and trust you can overcome anything.  

2018 Graduation Keynote Speaker Announced, Caroline Adams Miller


Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy is proud to announce this year's keynote speaker, Caroline Adams Miller. 

For three decades, Caroline has been a pioneer with her groundbreaking work in the areas of goal setting, grit, happiness and success. She is recognized as one of the world’s leading positive psychology experts on this research and how it can be applied to one’s life for maximum transformation and growth. Caroline helps people identify, come up with a plan for, and persist in pursuing their toughest goals — leading to their success, happiness and flourishing, while inspiring those around them. Achieving hard, meaningful goals is one of the most rewarding things we can do in both our personal and professional lives. Although she didn’t have a word for it at the time, Caroline used "grit" to help overcome her personal battle with bulimia. Today, she helps others develop the traits they need to get to the finish line.

In her keynote presentations and workshops, Caroline blends personal experience, real life examples and cutting-edge research in positive psychology, to come up with practical applications that create fresh awareness of how to cultivate change. Caroline leaves her audiences with tangible takeaways and actions they can use to create their own happiness and success. Angela Duckworth, winner of the 2013 MacArthur Genius grant for her research on grit, said of Caroline: “I don't know anybody who has thought more than [Caroline] about how to apply the scientific research on grit and achievement to our own lives!" Caroline’s TEDx Talk “The Moments That Make Champions” explores the three things that we can choose to do differently to improve our chances of developing grit.


How Fun is VIMSIA's Environmental Systems and Societies Class?


Extremely fun! Under the direction of Peter Gruber International Academy instructor Alex Silva, the 11th grade Environmental Systems and Societies class performed a field investigation at Secret Harbor. These photos feature the students swimming thirty meters transects, stopping every four meters to assess the composition of the seabed. Our results found that sea grass and corals only begin to appear twenty meters from shore, possibly due to the influence of human activity in shallower waters. 


8th Grade Hurricane Blogs


Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy 8th grade students created websites in groups using a free website generator called wix.com to make informative blogs about hurricanes in the Virgin Islands, under the direction of MYP Teacher Jamie Truax. 

"On these sites, the 8th graders shared personal stories, as well as information about past hurricanes. I am so proud of the hard work they put into these in just 4 short weeks. Check them out when you have a few minutes!" says Truax.

Truax explained that at times, the kids struggled emotionally because it brought up feelings that they may have bottled away for a while. They also struggled with some technology aspects, such as everyone in the group seeing the same screen, web layout, things not saving, etc. 

"Some students didn't feel comfortable at all sharing their personal hurricane stories which is why I let them choose between writing their experience with the hurricanes or writing a history of hurricanes in St Thomas. Most students who ended up sharing their experience said it was difficult to reflect back on, but they were eager to share their experience of what happened with others because many people who don't live in the Virgin Islands don't know what we went through." added Truax.

Saskia, Thomas, N'Jheri, and Bianca's site  https://saskiac8.wixsite.com/website

Layla, Rohan, Leah, and Anna's site https://laylar7.wixsite.com/hurricanes/about

Ava Jayne, Tyler, and Maia's site https://avajaynep.wixsite.com/mysite

Helen, Eliza, Aidan, and  Ka'eo's site https://helenr36.wixsite.com/website-1

Amir, Tianna, and Sakari's site https://sakaric.wixsite.com/hurricane-history

Audrianna, Vidhika, and Diego's site https://vidhikak.wixsite.com/hurricaneedu