Dancing Classrooms


On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Peter Gruber International Academy (PGIA) 8th grade students stepped into the limelight during Dancing Classrooms VI culminating event!

Dancing Classrooms started in only two schools in 1994 with Piere Dulaine a professional ball room dancer who as a young person, had moved from Palestine over to Birmingham, England and really struggled with self confidence and self esteem. It was through dancing that allowed him to stand a little taller and gain confidence. When he was older and a young professional, Dulaine wanted to give that back to the young people. Today, Dancing Classrooms is in over 30 locations nationally and internationally. Dancing Classrooms VI has been in the Virgin Islands since 2009 and last year served 1,000 student - 5,000 students have participated in program overall.

Dancing Classrooms VI's culminating event was a demonstration of a lectured lesson. It was the students' 19th lectured lesson - keep in mind four of those were before the hurricanes- and conducted under the direction of Mary Capella, teaching artist.

MYP Interdisciplinary Art and PGIA Visual Art & Art Coordinator, Jana Ferguson has participated with Dancing Classrooms for four years. Eighth grade students use their art period to participate in the Dancing Classrooms VI program.  

Aside from teaching our students ballroom dancing, the program challenges them to get out of their comfort zone, respect one another and respect themselves.  The younger students are excited to enter the program and the older students love to watch and dance along, reminiscing on their own experiences.  It has become a tradition at the PGIA.

College Visitors: NYU, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt University


Admissions representatives from Vanderbilt University, New York University and Johns Hopkins University presented to PGIA students today!  They shared information on each of their institutions, the college admission process and facilitated a great Q&A.  The opportunity to connect with colleges is very important for students here in the Caribbean.  This group will also provide a session open to the entire Virgin Islands community tonight at 6PM here at VIMSIA.  We are so pleased to be able to provide this type of programming to our students and community!  


Packed House At End Session


Last night’s event had an excellent turnout; a full house with standing room only. The highly anticipated comeback of End Session 2019, brought much excitement to the families of the PGIA. This program which focuses on promoting International-mindedness has already brought students to over 40 countries. This year’s plan will provide students with 8 exciting course options, 5 on campus and 3 traveling. Topics include: film-making, computer science, up-cycling, Spanish immersion, outdoor adventure and more! 



An Act of Kindness


Over the summer Ms. Ludick went shopping at a consignment store in the next town over from where she lives - Chesterland, Ohio. Gayle Tuttle is the consignment store owner and her husband Peter is President of the Rotary Club in Chesterland. Peter happened to be working with the St. Thomas Rotary Club to help to rebuild the Eudora Kean Library. 


There had been a rumor around town that one of the Alumni from West Geauga High School (Ms. Ludick) was a teacher in the USVI and help was needed.

Gayle ended up contacting Ms. Ludick and donated the entire summer stock of consignment clothes for VIMSIA staff members. They are ladies clothes--some professional, some for going out. Dresses, skirts, pants, shirts. The Micro-Economy Manager of the Class, Devin DeGannes, Assistant Manager, Zia Zucker, and the rest of the crew set up a pop up shop for VIMSIA teachers to "shop". Each teacher was given a $50 allowance and a personal shopper.

Our sincerest appreciation to Gayle and Peter Tuttle for their generous contribution and such a touching act of kindness.


Happy Birthday Dr. Maria Montessori


Students celebrated Dr. Maria Montessori's 148th birthday yesterday, by presenting human-sized timelines and acting out skits depicting Dr. Montessori’s life achievements. The celebration concluded by singing “Happy Birthday” in both English and Spanish and lighting Dr. Montessori’s birthday candle. Dr. Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870.

Who would have guessed that in 1964 Virgin Islands Montessori School and Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) would open its doors and start the school year off with only one Primary classroom and twelve students. Today, VIMSIA Montessori students held a birthday celebration to honor Dr. Montessori’s workings and celebrate how far her teaching and our school have progressed, all thanks to her vision. To date, VIMSIA has 158 Montessori students and nine classrooms – two Toddler, three Primary, tow Lower Elementary and two Upper Elementary. www.vimsia.org


FREE Ticket to VIMSIA's Las Vegas Night!

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Black Jack, Bingo, Poker and Roulette are just some of the many attractions at Las Vegas Night, Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy's (VIMSIA) signature fundraising event and the island's most glamorous event luring crowds from all three Virgin Islands. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 7PM-2AM. Community members interested in free admission can sign-up to volunteer online. As a small token of appreciation, a FREE ticket will be given to volunteers who work either four hours before the event or two hours during the event. For more information, please email pengle@vimsia.org.


Student Council Organizes Color War


After the last exam, the PGIA students enjoyed and afternoon of fun activities organized by the Student Council. Some went to the beach at Secret Harbor, some played Console-type games, some chilled and watched their choice of entertainment while others participated in a Color War. All activities ended up with a sweet ice cream treat. The Student Council hopes that everyone enjoyed their afternoon and wishes everyone a wonderful summer!

41st Annual Montessori Graduation

“Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school but for life” - Maria Montessori  

 Riddhi N. Atmaramani, Kinze Simuel Brown, Cassidy Alexis Caines, Gavin P. Johnson, Brianna Joan Jordan, Joniah J. Julien, Divina M. Kamra, Matthew Harold, Dietrich Meyer, Leah Mitzi Parker, Selena Grace Webster, Amelie Kiera Zucker

Riddhi N. Atmaramani, Kinze Simuel Brown, Cassidy Alexis Caines, Gavin P. Johnson, Brianna Joan Jordan, Joniah J. Julien, Divina M. Kamra, Matthew Harold, Dietrich Meyer, Leah Mitzi Parker, Selena Grace Webster, Amelie Kiera Zucker

Twelve sixth year Montessori students walked the stage and graduated from Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy’s (VIMSIA) accredited Montessori Program. Graduating from one of only two available Montessori schools in the US Virgin Islands is a game-changer for these students and a life decision supported by their friends and family. VIMSIA’s graduation included remarks from keynote speaker, Brad Wilson, CEO of Brad’s Deals LLC, current parent and member of the VIMSIA board of trustees.

Montessori Director, Norma Bollinger opened the 41st annual graduation ceremony by welcoming twelve eager graduates ready to take on life and move up to VIMSIA’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program next fall. There have been over six-hundred Montessori graduates in St. Thomas since the school was established in 1964. Bollinger explained that a noted difference between a Montessori graduate and one that graduates from traditional school is their “love for learning, our children from the minute they begin in a Montessori program are motivated through intrinsic motivation.”

The ceremony included speeches from both Upper Elementary Montessori Directresses Caroline Morrison and Kate Ludick. Morrison highlighted how important the role of the teacher is stating “Dr. Maria Montessori believed that it is the role of the teacher to walk alongside you, challenging your imagination whenever possible to help you see through the obstacles in the way.” Ludick was thrilled to see such a beautiful ceremony to mark the end of another successful school year. “The children now are going into the third plane of development and becoming adolescents. It was a very positive way to end the year for them and do something special, because they gave us –the teachers- hope” said Ludick.

Successful entrepreneur Brad Wilson –also a Montessori graduate- took the opportunity to share with the graduates three things he wished he knew as a teenager, during his keynote address. “First, be aware of your life and if it’s one of inertia or activity” commented Wilson, commending the Montessori graduates for already living a life of activity by choosing a Montessori education. “Second have a practical framework for success and lastly be open to your instincts and the wisdom of your unconscious mind” stated Wilson. He stressed how “the importance of independence, curiosity and discovery will only grow in the future.”

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics there are 132,656 schools in the US (2008 numbers), 4,000 of them are Montessori Accredited schools with only two located in the US Virgin Islands.