Category Archives: Deep Creek Middle School

Deep Creek Middle School Boarding School Trip 2014

Since 2001, Deep Creek Middle School has supported its students in applying for scholarships to U.S. boarding schools as an alternative option to continuing with their high school education on Eleuthera. To date, 33 students have received over $4 million in awards at prep schools from Virginia to Maine.

Megan Sweeting DCMS '11, Zachary Carey DCMS '14 introduce Perkiomen to Trevonya Pinder and Dashae Clarke
Megan Sweeting DCMS ’11, Zachary Carey DCMS ’14 introduce Perkiomen to Trevonya Pinder and Dashae Clarke

This year, the five candidates were split into two groups visiting northern and southern schools. The northern group visited Lawrenceville, The Hill School, Tabor Academy, Brewster Academy, Lawrence Academy, Kimball Union Academy, and Northfield Mt. Hermon. The southern group visited The Pennington School, Perkiomen, Oldfields, Foxcroft, West Nottingham Academy, and Episcopal High School. The students had the opportunity to tour the schools and interview to begin the ninth grade in Fall 2015.

The Keefe family hosts our students in Connecticut
The Keefe family hosts our students in Connecticut and treated them to a backyard bonfire!

As the week progressed, the DCMS students became more confident in their interview skills and enlightened in what they are looking for in a boarding school. Trevonya Pinder of Waterford says, “After seeing the schools and what they offer, I am inspired and motivated. I am looking for a school that has small classes and a good music program.”

This trip was nine months in the making; students begin the boarding school process the January before the trip and adhere to rigorous standards to remain in the process. This includes an intensive boot camp to study for the SSAT exam and leadership positions in extracurricular activities. For the candidates, their hard work is beginning to pay off. Deep Creek’s Dashae Clarke says, “My favorite part of the trip was meeting the students and interviewers from the different schools. I could picture myself doing the activities that I saw the other kids doing. It made me feel like part of the boarding school family.”

Student Advancement Coordinator Megan Kelly chaperoned the southern group and had the opportunity to visit with DCMS alumni who are already enrolled in the schools. She says, “It is a gratifying experience to see our alumni excelling at their boarding schools. Every former DCMS student we met held multiple leadership roles at their schools: everything from being tour guides to team captains to class presidents.” This success proves that DCMS is preparing students for the rigors of the top schools in the United States.

The Goulds also generously hosted our students at their home where they flew the Bahamian flag!
The Goulds also generously hosted our students at their home where they flew the Bahamian flag!

The trip was enhanced by the hospitality of many Island School alumni families who hosted the students in home stays. Welcoming the DCMS students with Bahamian flags, photos from the Island School, and regional dining specialties, the students quickly felt at home. DCMS is grateful for the generosity of the Paget-Brown family (Heather F’14), the Gould family (Lauren F’12), the Keefe family (Hilary S’04, Andrew S’05, Brittany S’06, and Peter F’13), the McDonough family (current IS Fellow Tom S’08), the Howard-Gould family (Marcus S’13), the Sands-Bliss family (Maya F’13), and the Maxeys. The trip was made even better by the bonds formed with the host families!

While staying at the Paget-Brown's home, the DCMS students got to feed their horses.
While staying at the Paget-Brown’s home, the DCMS students got to feed their horses.

Deep Creek Middle School Students Travel to Maine

Every year, the 8th grade students at Deep Creek Middle School do a school exchange with a partner in The United States. This year, thirteen DCMS students spent a week in Camden, Maine visiting the Camden Rockport Middle School. In turn, their host buddies will visit Eleuthera in February. DCMS Principal Odette Pretty says, “It is so beneficial for our students to have a cultural exchange. Being away from Eleuthera allows them to appreciate what we have here and see our community with fresh eyes, while expanding their world.”

group shot DCMS

The trip fits into the school’s science curriculum because as seventh graders, they learn about marine ecology. The Maine trip includes several days at Tanglewood Learning Center, an outdoor education center where the students studied forest ecology and species identification. The students appreciated the opportunity to study ecology in a coastal setting that is different from their own. Kenvado Knowles of Tarpum Bay said, “The dark water color was surprising!” Despite the frigid temperature, several DCMS students bravely swam in the ocean. For Knowles, it was the best part of the trip.

dcms swim

In addition to their time at Tanglewood, the students attended an engineering class at the middle school, focused on a project of building bridges with popsicle sticks and glue. The metaphor of this activity was not lost on Simeon Bethel of Governor’s Harbor. He says, “I learned, a few days after we got back to Eleuthera, that the meaning of the trip was to make connections, or in my eyes, build bridges.”

dcms bridges

Spending time with their host families was frequently cited as the students’ favorite part of the trip. The Maine hosts had planned various activities, such as bowling, apple picking, and ice-skating. Cierrah Ferguson of Wemyss Bight says, “Ice skating was so difficult! That was really surprising to me.” Rock Sound’s Brenae Williams agrees: “The best part of the trip was when I got to go ice skating. It was scary, but I got to learn a little bit.”

The students are already looking forward to reuniting with their new friends when the Camden Rockport Middle School students visit in February. In the meantime, Simeon Bethel wants to know, “When can I go back?”

flight photo dcms

Deep Creek Middle School Summer Programs

Summer may be a time for relaxation, but the Deep Creek Middle School and Resource  Center had one of its busiest summers yet. There was a new camp and opportunity to explore Eleuthera during almost every week of the summer.

The programs kicked off with he Marine Debris & Me Plastic Pollution Camp taught participants about one of the major issues affecting the island. They took part in scientific research and helped create solutions to the problem, one of which was making beautiful art from beach plastic. Along the same idea of how to live sustainably in The Bahamas, the Sustainability Camp taught campers about water conservation, permaculture, aquaponics, biodiesel, renewable energy, and waste management.

This summer’s sleepover option was the South Eleuthera Kids Camp. This popular program offered kids the opportunity to experience outdoor adventure, such as boating, snorkeling, and swimming. They experienced hands-on learning in marine ecology, conservation, sustainability and “green” living. After full days of adventure, campers spent the night at the Island School.

Students in Grades 9 – 12, as well as their parents and teachers, were invited to join College & SAT Boot Camp at the Rock Sound Mission. The aims of this camp were to provide study tips and content knowledge for the SAT. In addition to offering a practice test, participants also received information on college and scholarship planning.

IMG_6564 (1)

In its third year, International Sports Education’s Lacrosse Camp was a great success. Of the 24 students, 14 were back for their third summer in a row. Camp Organizer and Island School alumnus Eliott Wellenbach (F’11) said, “Our goal is to promote the game of lacrosse, while fostering character development through leadership, teamwork, and sportsmanship on and off the field. It has been exciting for us to see this unfold over the past three years and we are even more excited about what the upcoming ones will bring.” The skills learned at Lacrosse Camp stay with the athletes. Zachary Carey (DCMS ’14) has enjoyed the camp for all three years and will be attending Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania this year, with the goal of playing on the lacrosse team.

We thank everyone who organized and participated in our summer programs. Big things are already being planned for next year!

West Chester University Students Complete Their Student Teaching at DCMS

Deep Creek Middle School recently said goodbye to two more of its student teachers this spring, Jonathan Jasper and Nancy Stehman from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. The candidates, seen here with their university supervisor Dr. Claire Verden, were the first in their school to fulfill part of their student teaching experience requirements abroad. The opportunity came about through Dr. Verden and the long relationship she has on the island with schools like DCMS and The School for Exceptional Learners in Governor’s Harbour. Dr. Verden, who first came to Eleuthera on vacation, identified ways to volunteer and get her students engaged on the island.  “Our relationship first began when Dr. Verden brought students to DCMS for a half-day visit. Soon after, we were conducting joint professional development for each other and then talking about how to share expertise,” says Dr. Paul, Director of Education and coordinator of student teaching partnerships. “The West Chester students are all dual certified in special education and another subject of their choice, so we at DCMS can benefit from their expertise. At the same time, the West Chester students are excited to see us implementing a range of best practices in education with a variety of learners and academic results.”


The West Chester students are just one group in a series of partnerships with international and national universities to support student teaching. DCMS has agreements with West Chester University, Queens University, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and The College of The Bahamas. Each university has a different arrangement with DCMS, but all find it valuable to offer some of their students exposure to the work being done at DCMS, The Island School and CEI. This past year, we hosted our first full-time student teacher from COB. Mrs. Sophia Smith was so excited to be working in a school that is utilizing the progressive pedagogy that she had learned that she applied for and was hired to be the English teacher next year. These partnerships are excellent opportunities for DCMS to share its experience with curriculum and programs as well as to find the next crop of talented teachers who will give back to our community.

The West Chester University student teachers with their colleagues who were placed at the Center for Exceptional Learners at graduation their, celebrating their time in The Bahamas!
The West Chester University student teachers with their colleagues who were placed at the Center for Exceptional Learners at graduation their, celebrating their time in The Bahamas!

DCMS’s Zachary Carey Accepted to Perkiomen School

DCMS and The Island School would like to congratulate DCMS grade 9 student Zachary Carey of Tarpum Bay on his recent acceptance to Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania. Zach will attend the school next year as a boarder for grades 9-12, joining fellow DCMS alumna Megan Sweeting (DCMS’11).

“Zach has been an incredible contributor to academics, the school community, and the greater community of South Eleuthera. He will add a lot to their school and will soak up all the opportunities he is offered while he is away,” said Dr. Joanna Paul, Director of Education. Zach is a member of the Eco-Club, Early Act Service Club, Founder of the Spanish Club, and an avid SCUBA diver. Here he can be seen as the Plastic Bag Monster while advocating for plastic reduction efforts at a workshop on Harbour Island.

Zachary Carey (middle)
Zachary Carey (middle)

DCMS Students Tour U.S. Boarding Schools

In April, five DCMS grade eight students spent a few days of their Easter vacation touring boarding schools in the Mid-Atlantic region. DCMS supports its students in applying for scholarships for US boarding schools as an alternative option to continuing with their high school education on Eleuthera. To date, 33 students have received over $4 million in awards at prep schools from Virginia to Maine.


This year’s candidates are touring early and will be applying next year. They saw The George School, Oldfields, West Nottingham and St. Andrews to help them understand the range of schools and offerings that they can consider. Thank you to the homestay families, The Strathmanns (parents of Will F’07) and the Obrechts (parents of Annie S’12) for making their visit possible!


DCMS Alumni Compete in Track Relays at Penn

Deep Creek Middle School Alumni were out in full force at last weekend’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia. Four students at US prep schools participated in events.

  • Anna McCartney and Treshae Clarke in the 4×100 (second place) and 4×400 (third place) for Wilbraham and Monson, MA
  • Kristen Rolle in the 4×100 for Lawrenceville, NJ
  • Benji Williams in the 4×400 for Pennington, NJ






The Island School is on Google Maps Street View!

The Island School is excited to announce the launch of Island School Street View!  You can now take virtual tours of The Island School, Cape Eleuthera Insitute, and Center for Sustainable Design campuses, as well as iconic locations around the Cape as if you were there!   To move througout the tours, pan around the “photosphere” and click on the hovering arrows or circles located on the screen.

The Island School Campus Tour has six locations throughout the tour: The Flag Circle, Entrance, Boathouse, Dining Hall, Boy’s Dorm, & Boy’s Dorm Beach.
Cape Eleuthera Institute has four locations: CEI Entrance, The Wetlab, CEI Walkway, & Hallig House.
The rest (DCSM, The Sand Bar, The Offshore Aquculture Cage, Cathedral Rock, Scuba Class on the Cobia, and Weirda Bridge) can be found on main Island School profile page on Google Maps.
Click to see what it's like to dive The Cage!
Click to see what it’s like to dive The Cage!

DCMS Presentations of Learning a Success!

_Y1A1650DCMS students showed off their final School without Walls (SWW) projects last Thursday evening during Presentations of Learning (POL) at the DCMS campus, marking the end of a seven-week experiential learning unit. The opening ceremony was held before students’ families, friends, teachers, and mentors on the basketball court at 5 p.m. Representatives from each grade level gave guests a brief overview of projects before the two-hour open house began.


“Presentations of learning were very exciting because of the support from the community and family and friends,” said Grade 9 student Patrick Johnson. During SWW students go into the community to gain hands-on experience with the social and environmental aspects unique to South Eleuthera. Students and teachers alike dive full throttle into the kind of place-based curriculum that CEF is known for.

“I liked SWW because it was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Grade 7 student Charleston Darling. “Other schools don’t really let you do stuff like that.” Grade 7 students studied marine ecology, taking several trips into the field to tag turtles with CEI researchers, snorkel among fish of all kinds at Cape Eleuthera, and camp in the Exuma Cays with Captain Ron, Chris Maxey, and Grade 7 SWW teachers Odette Pretty and Meghan Maloney. Students ultimately produced a nonfiction report about a local marine habitat and organism.

_Y1A1806Grade 8 students were immersed in the study of plastic pollution in The Bahamas and the world at large, hoping to find and implement viable local interventions with the help of CEI plastic pollution researcher Kristal Ambrose and Grade 8 SWW teachers Angela Schatz and Emma Sparrow. POL guests were treated to students’ persuasive anti-plastic seminars.

Grade 9 students learned firsthand that a more equitable and just society requires taking action. Teachers Will Simmons and Jaclyn Jones paired each student with a social or environmental activist in the South Eleuthera community to hone in on an injustice and craft a project proposal to be carried out during the forthcoming Community Outreach class.


The presentations were well-attended and an air of celebration was undoubtedly in the air. “I’m constantly impressed with the level of work our students put forth during Presentations of Learning,” said Grade 8 SWW teacher Emma Sparrow.

TK Foundation Visits Campus

On Wednesday, February 19, we were pleased to host Mr. Arthur Croady and Mrs. Esther Blair from the TK Foundation on campus. The TK Foundation is our largest Bahamian supporter and helps makes the great work we do at DCMS and with the BESS program possible. Their day-long visit featured tours of campus sustainable systems, class visits to DCMS and discussions with researchers and educators about their experiences and future outreach programs.