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Barracuda Bulletin: Week of September 15

Updated: Oct 6, 2023


Teacher Spotlight


This is Dr. Brittany’s first year teaching at Gifft Hill School. She first came to St. John in 2017 after meeting Virgin Islands National Park Archaeologist Ken Wild at an International Association for Caribbean Archaeology conference on St. Croix. Dr. Brittany was studying archaeology in a graduate program at the University of Florida at the time, and she went on to earn a PhD in anthropology. After moving to St. John in January 2022 and working with the VINP doing archaeological monitoring and compliance, a role that introduced her to GHS via culture day and Earth Day events, her contract with the park ended and Dr. Brittany sought out an opportunity to continue to contribute to the community.

“I really enjoyed the outreach component of my job and working with kids, and I thought this would be a new adventure and a different way to use my skill set,” she says.

Upper Campus Principal Ms. McGuire says she appreciates Dr. Brittany’s approach to teaching ancient civilizations.

“Instead of going through the ancient civilizations one by one, she’s trying to show the connections between cultures and talking about themes,” says Ms. McGuire. “She’s been very receptive to feedback and really wants to partner with her students for them to be successful.”

Dr. Brittany teaches sixth grade ancient civilizations, 9th grade Virgin Islands history, 10th grade world history, an introduction to archaeology elective for high schoolers, and a coding elective for 12th graders. She says she’s enjoyed learning from her students as she’s teaching them.

“That’s been part of the enjoyment in working with kids,” she says. “Learning about the students’ Caribbean histories and their families contributes to the class, which I really enjoy.”


Upcoming Events



At the Lower Campus, after-school clubs will be offered to students in preschool through fifth grade every day but Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. After care will be available until 5 p.m. Classes are $15 each. Students should return their club sign-up form ASAP to secure their spot. The Lower Campus after-school schedule is as follows:


Preschool/pre-K: music and movement with Ms. Sammy

Kindergarten through second grade: math games and puzzles with Ms. Melisa

Third through fifth grade: academic support and brain games with Ms. Christina


Preschool/pre-K: Stories and plays with Ms. Lenny

Kindergarten through second grade: mixed sports with Ms. Kissa

Third through fifth grade: academic support and brain games with Ms. Laura

Thursday: Preschool through kindergarten: yoga and movement with Ms. G. First through fifth grade: diamond painting with Ms. Jessica Third through fifth grade: baking with Ms. Robin Fridays will be afterschool care for preschool through fifth grade students with Ms. Kelley. Students will play, get read to, and have some art activities.

At the Upper Campus, after-school clubs will be offered to students in all grades on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Clubs will end at 4:25 p.m. for a 4:30 parent pickup. Classes are free thanks to a grant, and are offered on a drop-in basis with no sign-up required. The Upper Campus after-school schedule is as follows:


Academic support with Ms. Liz H. or Mr. Bill

Art with Ms. Grafton

Junior CEO with Chef La'Shanda


Academic support with Ms. Mikayla or Ms. Emma

EARTH harvest with Mr. D.

Theater with Ms. Liz H.


Academic support with Ms. V. or Dr. Brittany

Woodworking with Ms. Amelie

Environmental health with Mr. Bill

Homeschool students are also invited to join our after-school clubs at the Upper or Lower Campus for a fee of $20 per class, so please spread the word to your homeschooling friends!



We'll celebrate August and September birthdays at our monthly birthday assembly Wednesday morning, September 20, at 8:30 a.m. in the Lower Campus Great Room. Parents and guardians of children with August and September birthdays are encouraged to attend and hear your child's teacher share some wonderful, positive commentary about your child with the LC community. Parents and guardians of fourth graders, who will share a presentation on their work with compost, are also welcome to attend.



School picture day will take place on Thursday, September 21 for Lower Campus students and on Friday, September 22 for Upper Campus students. Some photo order forms went home this week and the remainder will be sent home next week. Please note:

- Students may wear a school-appropriate outfit of their choosing for their individual photo. They must wear the GHS uniform for their class photo and for the remainder of the school day.

- Students who choose a background for their individual photo should not wear blue or green and should ensure their hairstyle is smooth. Blue or green clothing interferes with the photographer's editing process when adding a background, and hair that is not combed or smooth makes the editing process more time-consuming. These criteria only apply to students who do not choose the default background.

School picture order forms must be returned before your child's picture day. A makeup day will be announced at a later date for those who are absent on school picture day.



Parents and guardians are invited to make your voice heard at our first Barracuda Boosters Parent Focus Group meeting of the year. Please join us on Wednesday, September 27, at 8:30 a.m. at the Upper Campus for a discussion on Gifft Hill School's five-year strategic plan. Our Parent Focus Group meetings are a great way to get involved in the school. We look forward to your participation!


GHS Highlights


PHYSICAL FORMS ARE DUE! Physical forms and immunization record or certified exemption letter are past due! If you have not submitted these documents for your child, please do so as soon as possible. Students who do not have physicals after September 29 will not be able to attend class.



We had a special visit this week from the Rotary Club of St. John, which donated school supplies, dictionaries, and planners to our students. Thank you, Rotary!


Sports Central



Fall sports are in full swing! All fall sports are now closed with the exception of running club, which will remain open to new participants for the remainder of the school year.

Here's a schedule of upcoming games/meets. Please note, these are just the first competitions for each sport. Subsequent games and meets will be announced at a later date. Everyone is welcome to come out and cheer on our Barracudas!

Cross country

Thursday, 9/28, 4 p.m. - elementary 1 mile and middle school/JV 2 mile at UVI golf course

Middle school flag football

Wednesday, 9/20, 5 p.m. - GHS vs. Lockhart at Antilles

Saturday, 9/23, 10 a.m. - GHS vs. JESS at IEKHS

Varsity flag football

Monday, 9/18, 4 p.m. - GHS vs. Antilles at Antilles

Saturday, 9/23, 10 a.m. - GHS vs. IEKHS at IEKHS

Varsity girls volleyball

Saturday, 9/16, 3:30 p.m. - GHS vs. Montessori at Antilles

Varsity boys volleyball

Saturday, 9/16, 2 p.m. - GHS vs. Montessori at Antilles



See below for important dates to remember over the next two months. View the full school year calendar by clicking here.


Community Corner: News You Can Use



The Elaine Ione Sprauve Library will host story time on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All children must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling or family member at least 16 years of age.



Dazey Drive-In in Coral Bay is now hiring and teens are welcome to apply. They offer competitive pay plus tips, healthy food, an air conditioned working environment, and perks from the Dazey Drive-In's sister company, Salty Daze. To apply, email


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