Home Community Schools NEW GUY BENJAMIN PRINCIPAL TACKLES CHALLENGES

NEW GUY BENJAMIN PRINCIPAL TACKLES CHALLENGES

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Mrs. Ronalyn David is "ready to face up to the challenge" as the new principal of Guy H. Benjamin School, she said-and the challenge is multifold, beginning with a long commute by ferry from St. Thomas and all the way across St. John to the East End school.
David replaces the retired Mrs. Gwen Hyndman and is no stranger to the Virgin Islands school system.
"I began as a physical education teacher at what used to be Nazareth Bay High School in 1972," she said, "and in about 1982 I became the assistant principal at the Antonio Jarvis Elementary School."
David was happy to see the covered walkways that were constructed during the summer break, letting students walk to classes without getting wet when it rains. But other problems such as the extermination of termites, dysfunctional air conditioners, and the need to remove debris from the campus continue to plague the school-more challenges.
"We need a fifth-grade teacher, full-time secretarial help, a Spanish teacher, and some additional custodial help, even if it's part-time. It is really too much for just one person," David said.
"I am also hoping that the school's PTO proposal to build a community education center, that will also be used as auditorium and lunchroom, could become a reality."
The student population is down to 102 students, in part due to the transfer of the sixth-grade class to the Julius E. Sprauve School in Cruz Bay.
When asked about the no-retention policy, she explained that "I personally feel that it should not be a blanket policy. A school-based team should determine if retention would help or hinder the child's educational progress."
David is originally from Chicago and grew up in Los Angeles. She and her husband Wilfred, a retired teacher, have a daughter studying music education at Hampton University in Virginia.
She enjoys traveling, reading and relaxing to jazz. In her heyday, David was an outstanding volleyball player, and she still enjoys attending a good match.

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