This morning we were visited by a large manatee in the Boathouse Cut! Educational Programs Lead Educator, Tiffany Gray, shared photos and information on the sighting with Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization who informed us that our manatee friend is named Blackbeard who is originally known by our US colleagues from Tampa Bay. He has been in the Bahamas since 2013 where he has spent time in Long Is, Cat Is, north Eleuthera (with another manatee “Gina”). From there he headed to Nassau in December 2014 and remained until late April when he was seen back in Spanish Wells with Gina.
Manatees are not common to The Bahamas due to the lack of fresh water so this sighting is very exciting! We hope Blackbeard sticks around for at least a few more days!
This past Saturday, the Deep Creek Middle School Early Act and Eco Club teamed up with Preston Albury High School’s newly formed Eco-club to sort plastics 1, 2, and 5. It wasn’t the prettiest job sorting plastic bottles, food containers, and removing bottle caps from a few hundred bottles, but we made it fun with a competition between 3 groups to see who could sort the most!
All plastics will be sent to Cans for Kids in Nassau and then sent to the States for recycling. Cans for Kids is a Bahamian non profit that recycles cans, and now plastics as well, to raise money for schools and youth organizations. This event was an effort to spruce up the recycle center at the South Eleuthera Emergency Partners, SEEP, in Tarpum Bay to implement a One Eleuthera grant funded recycle program in schools in South Eleuthera in the next few months.
We had 22 students from both schools and 9 adults from One Eleuthera, Cape Eleuthera Institute, Deep Creek Middle School, Rotaract Club of Eleuthera, and the Rotary Club of Eleuthera.
This year, Deep Creek Middle School students chose to tackle a bigger issue when planning their Junkanoo theme. Graduating students in grade 9 brainstormed a number of creative and colourful ideas, but finally settled on the title, “Save our Seas.” The idea was inspired by Grade 9 Destinee Outten’s up-cycled fashion design: a plastic bag skirt fastened by a colourful band of Capri Sun juice bags. We decided to run with the idea by combining traditional Junkanoo materials like crepe paper, glue, cardboard, wire and glitter with reusable materials, like beach plastic, plastic bags and Capri Sun containers. Ultimately, the students would be wearing an environmental awareness campaign.
The grade 7 girls evolved into Plastic Pollution Princesses, adorned with plastic tutus, hot pink sashes and purple crowns. The grade 8 and 9 girls transformed into Bahamian sea species: turtles, sharks, jellies, sea stars and eagle rays. The drummers wore the nation’s colors of gold, blue and black, as Bahamian sea kings.
Our free dancers wore costumes that were meant to raise awareness of overfishing practices. One of our dancers wore a “Responsible Fishing” shoulder piece, with images of spiny-tailed lobsters and closed fishing dates. One free dancer wore a massive conch costume; another wore a spectacular invasive lion fish piece.
Overall, the night was a huge success. The kids invested an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm into their performance!
We held our third annual Have One One Us Night for alumni last night in three cities across the U.S.: Boston, Denver, and New York City. It was a great opportunity for our alumni to reconnect with friends and also meet other Island School alumni from different semesters. Thank you to all who came out, especially our hosts, Kate Gibson Carey (F’04) in NYC and Drew Fink (F’05) and Nick Del Vecchio (F’02) in Denver!
On Sunday night, nearly 50 interested students and families gathered at the home of Pat Wynne and Lou Valente (Jake S’10 and Cole S’14) in Princeton, New Jersey. Although our conversations were around warm and sunny Eleuthera, we took advantage of a beautiful, brisk, fall night and gathered outside to hear from Chris Maxey and Peter Zdrojewski. Cole Valente and Mackenzie Howe (both from Spring 2014) also shared their own experiences about The Island School.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Valente family who opened their home to The Island School and all our alumni who were able to answer questions for interested families.
Our next reception will be in Hanover, NH on Monday, October 27th. Please email Taylor Hoffman,firstname.lastname@example.org, if you will be able to make it!
Last night, despite the rain, prospective students and their families made their way to the amazing home of Bentley Meeker (parent, Jensen Meeker Su’14) in New York City to learn more about The Island School.
Our all-star alumni, Jensen Meeker (Su’14), Kaven Marte (Su’14), and Evan Wood (S’11) answered questions and shared memories from their individual experiences at The Island School. There was lots of excitement among the interested students, especially the ones who are the first students to apply to IS from their high school.
We want to extend a huge thank you to Bentley and Jensen for hosting us last night! On Sunday, October 19 we will be in Princeton, NJ for another admissions reception. For information on that reception or to RSVP, email email@example.com.
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.
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.
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 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!
Last night over 70 prospective students and their families, recent alumni, and even a few incoming Spring 2015 students gathered at Nicole & Kevin Kelly’s beautiful home (Madeleine S’13, Margaret S’15) in Concord, MA. Attendees learned more about The Island School from speaking with alumni and staff, as well as hearing from S’14 Master Teacher and Thayer Academy Science Department Head, Don Donovan.
This was the largest turn out of accepted students we have ever had at an admissions reception! Ten Spring 2015 students who are eagerly awaiting their March 2nd arrival on Eleuthera met at the reception for the first time.
A HUGE thank you to the Kelly’s for opening up their home for the reception. Our next admissions reception is tonight in New Canaan, CT. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to RSVP.