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On Island Profile: Terry Pishko


Dec. 19, 2005 – These days St. John resident Terry Pishko is busier than the proverbial one-armed paperhanger. As co-chairman of the annual Sprauve School Gala, she's running here and there to get the Jan. 14 event at Caneel Bay Resort organized.
"We're down to the crunch time," she said.
Pishko, who moved to St. John 10 years ago with her husband, Chuck, has her fingers in lots of volunteer pies. She's president of the Fish Bay Homeowners Association – another busy endeavor – and is active in the Audubon Society of the Virgin Islands and the St. John Historical Society. She also sings with the St. John Singers.
She said she first got involved in volunteer activities as a child, when her parents encouraged her to participate in church events. She kept up the work even when her son, Bill Bryant, came along.
Bill now lives in Arnold, Md., with his wife, Jessica, and son Gavin, 3. Terry's husband has three children – Peter, Christine, and Katie. Katie and her husband, Mark Steele, live in Exton, Penn., with their three children: Christopher, 11, Cameron, 9, and Corinne, 7.
"As with any grandparents, we enjoy our time with the grandkids whether here on St. John or in the states," Pishko said.
A Rochester, N.Y., native who moved to Albany as a child, Pishko spent her working career with the New York state government. She said she started out doing clerical work, moving up through the ranks until she was the director of human resources for the Lottery Department.
Along the way, she met Chuck Piskho, who was also a state employee.
The two spent years visiting St. John, falling in love with the place like so many former vacationers do. They decided to make the move after retiring but built their house first.
Pishko said she took a year off after relocating to St. John but soon found herself volunteering.
On the advice of a friend, the late Doris Harvey, she started helping in Sprauve School's classrooms. After a few years of this, then principal Shirley Joseph asked her to take over as the gala's co-chairman.
"It's getting to be quite a bit of work," she said.
Pishko said work starts in October and wraps up in June, when she ties up all the loose ends.
When she's not busying with her volunteer work, she and her husband make time to go snorkeling and hiking.
"I do it more for the exercise," she said, laughing as she talked about her hiking.
It's immediately apparent that Pishko enjoys just being on St. John.
"It's quiet in Fish Bay, and I like the friends we've made through the years," she said.
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