Local government — St. Thomas
Commissioner Dr. LaVerne Terry offers condolences to the family and friends of Gladys A. Abraham, renowned local educator and leader in primary education, upon her recent passing.
Abraham began her celebrated career in education as a temporary teacher at the George Washington School (formerly Evelyn Marcelli Elementary) in 1944 before obtaining her teaching license and traveling abroad to further her education. After attending the Teacher’s Institute and Polytechnic Institute of Puerto Rico, Abraham transferred to the prestigious New York University, where she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in 1953.
After graduating, Abraham returned to the territory to take up a permanent position at the George Washington School and was subsequently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to India, where she spent time studying at Bombay University and continuing to build her experience in elementary education.
When she returned to the territory again in 1962 – after obtaining her Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology – Abraham moved easily into the position of principal at the now Joseph Sibilly Elementary School before moving onto Lockhart Elementary in 1970 and, finally, Michael J. Kirwan Elementary in 1980.
“It is rare to meet an individual with Ms. Abraham’s accomplishments and sincere passion for education,” Dr. Terry said Monday. “Ms. Abraham was the first principal at the Michael J. Kirwan Elementary School and can truly be credited for making that institution what it is today. The department, and our community, will continue to remember Ms. Abraham for her many years of service to the school and its students, along with her many years of public service and lifelong dedication to her craft. She will be greatly missed, and it is our hope that her many lasting contributions to the children of the territory will be a constant source of comfort to her family and friends during this difficult time.”