EDUCATING THE NEXT
GENERATION OF ISLAND
ADVOCATES 

 
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History

1981 School Construction
School History

Coral Bay School founded, serving 13 students in grades 7-9. Over the next four years, the school grew to 85 students in grades 7-12, gained accreditation, and graduated the first senior class in St. John’s history—achieving 100% college acceptance. 

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1978

2000

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Four devoted community members founded Pine Peace School in 1978 as a preschool serving a handful of students. The school grew quickly, adding both students and grades. After moving four times in as many years, Pine Peace settled onto donated land on Gifft Hill, where the elementary campus remains today. Through the 1980s and 1990s, the school expanded to 6th grade, gained accreditation, and greatly enlarged its campus facilities.

GHS broke ground for the Upper Campus building, led by Fred Trayser.

2004

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2005

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Coral Bay School purchased land on Gifft Hill—adjacent to the elementary school. Pine Peace School and Coral Bay School merged to become one, and Gifft Hill School was born. 

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2009

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Glen and Jo Ann Hall donate four-acre parcel of land adjoining Lower and Upper Campuses, allowing the school to sit on 14 contiguous acres.

2010

Dedication of Trayser Field and completion of the playground and green-top renovation at the Lower Campus. GHS initiates a partnership with Iowa State University to form the EARTH program. Accreditation was renewed for K-12th grades, and the Nekwan Sprauve Memorial half-court Basketball Court was created.

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2016

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

GHS opened its doors just five days after the second of two category five hurricanes hit St. John. The Board of Trustees waived tuition for the 2017-2018 school year and welcomed all students on St. John to attend.

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2017

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2018

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GHS ambitiously enhanced its curriculum with an increased number of STEAM opportunities. Spanish Immersion was introduced to the Early Learning Center.

The entire school transitioned to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020

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In December 2020, GHS was recognized as a Bronze level Eco-School by the National Wildlife Federation.

Students returned for live, in-class instruction. GHS expanded its programs to include aquaponics, engineering, and seminars. GHS also completed the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) to evaluated strengths and opportunities for improvement with regard to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

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2021

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Board of Trustees adopts a resolution citing, in part, "that a diverse and inclusive learning environment is integral to achieving academic excellence. We recognize and value the experiences that diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, family structure, age, and ability contribute to Gifft Hill School."