Celebrating our 40th Anniversary this school year!

It began as a vision over a quarter century ago . . . a vision shared by a small group of St. John families who saw clearly the need for an educational alternative that offered challenging academics in an environment that nurtured children's talent, character, and intellect. Through shared vision and community support, our school has grown with the island, but our commitment to each student and our standards of excellence remain constant.


Pine Peace School opens as a summer program in the new Daniel's building in Pine Peace. Dorothy Muilenburg and JoAnne Pach teach with help from Anna Johannson Lagercrantz and Janet Cook-Rutnik.


Preschool begins with four students.


School is moved to the late Toni Oppenheimer's beach house at Hawksnest Beach; 3 children participate in the Carnival parade as the "Little Donkey Cart", accompanied by Dorothy Muilenburg and JoAnne Pach.


School moves four times to Jens and Irma Pickering's warehouse in Pine Peace, Catholic Church, Schnell’s guesthouse, and Toni Oppenheimer’s beach house at Hawksnest Beach. Shailer Bass family donates Gifft Hill land; 5 students participate in the Carnival parade as "The Little Engine That Could".


Construction of first building begins (the current ELC building).


School opens on Gifft Hill; Kathy Hilliard takes role of administrator.


Classes expanded to lower level of building, up to Grade 3.


Bass family donates second parcel of land. Richard Schlieffin gives large donation for second building.


1st Annual Dinner Auction is held at the Fernhouse, organized by Janet Cook-Rutnik and Trish Capuano. $35 tickets sold out to a crowd of 130 people. George Blackhall was the first auctioneer. 41 students are currently enrolled. VI Department of Education gives Pine Peace their Certificate of Accreditation for K-3rd grade.


New building constructed!


Hurricane Hugo. Pine Peace School was the first to re-open in the territory. School expands to include Grades 4-6.


Dedication for St. John Community Room (the "Great Room") officiated by Lt. Governor Derek M. Hodge. Beth Knight joins faculty as Kindergarten teacher.


New Playground completed through a donation from the Doris Freedman family in her memory; 75 students enrolled.


Albert Sewer Scholarship added to the Scholarship Fund; Fish Bay parcel deeded to the school.


Hurricane Marilyn; parents helped rebuild roof of original building.


Accreditation from Commission on Elementary Schools of Middle States Association.


Bertolino Building constructed at the Lower Campus.


Beth Knight takes role of Lower School Principal. Coral Bay School is created by Scott and Sabrina Crawford as the first independent middle and high school on St. John, enrolling 13 students in grades 7-9 its first year. Over the next four years, the school grew to 85 students in grades 7-12 and gained accreditation.


Pine Peace School and Coral Bay School merge as St. John School on Gifft Hill; 8 acres of land were donated to the school, nearly contiguous to the Pine Peace campus.


First senior class in St. John history graduates with a ceremony at Annaberg.


Ground-breaking for Upper Campus. Fred Trayser leads the construction.


4 acre parcel of land adjoining Lower and Upper Campuses donated by Glen and Jo Ann Hall; school now sits on 14 contiguous acres.


Dedication of Trayser Field; completion playground and green-top renovation at the Lower Campus; 5 year partnership established with Iowa State University to form EARTH program; accreditation renewed for K-12th grades; dedication of Nekwan Sprauve Memorial ½ court Basketball Court; Judy Chamberlain assumes position of Head of School.


Dr. Laurie Bottiger, PhD assumes role of Head of School


Gifft Hill School completes Brand Purpose study. We are committed to academic rigor through experiential learning and compassionate community in our enriched environment.


GHS was awarded the EPA Environmental Champion Award in recognition of our commitment to environmental sustainability and for leading by example in the Virgin Islands.


Gifft Hill School was featured in November on the 21st season of the PBS Visionaries program, hosted by Sam Waterston and produced by Bill Mosher.


GHS received full accreditation from Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Construction of Pine Peace School

The first Preschool Class

Pine Peace School - 1978

Great Room Expansion

Dorothy with Kids

One of the early Pine Peace School kindergarten classes

Bertolino Building Ground Breaking

Coral Bay First Class

The start of Trayser Field

Gifft Hill Students and Faculty


GHS Goes Solar

While juniors at GHS, John Spinale '15 and Jackson Barry '15 created this video
to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the founding of our school. Enjoy!