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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 21, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCENTRAL HIGH PTA INVITES GEN. POWELL TO SPEAK

CENTRAL HIGH PTA INVITES GEN. POWELL TO SPEAK

With students and teachers at St. Croix’s Central High School confronting a lack of supplies, violence and run-down classrooms and buildings, members of the school’s Parent Teachers Association are trying to arrange a "pick-me-up" – a visit by retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell.
At the PTA’s monthly meeting Sunday, President Claudette Petersen said the group has sent an invitation letter to America’s Promise, the organization Powell chairs, in hopes of getting the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speak at the school.
The aim of America’s Promise is to increase positive development for all children who need help. The five main tenets of the nationwide effort are to expose kids to: an ongoing relationship with a caring adult; a safe place to be with structured activities during non-school hours; a healthy start; a marketable skill through effective education; and a chance to give back through community service. Petersen said that even though a visit by Powell, whose parents hailed from Jamaica, hasn't been confirmed and probably wouldn’t occur until the beginning of next school year, it would help the flagging morale of students, teachers and school administrators alike.
"We think we need a pick-me-up on campus," she said.
Meanwhile, Mary Moorhead, the American Federation of Teachers representative on the CHS campus, said that teachers’ refusal to work in the school’s music building last week came after a long period of suffering. Last Thursday, teachers walked out of the building, which houses eight classrooms and counselors’ offices, because of allergic reactions to mold and mildew.
"It got to the point where everyone was getting sick so often that they had enough and came out," Moorhead told parents.
To accommodate the loss of the rooms, Moorhead said several teachers are working in violation of their union contract that prevents them from teaching out of more than two classrooms. The AFT has agreed to give school administrators until the beginning of next school year to solve the problem in the affected building. But Moorhead said that if the problems aren’t fixed, teachers won’t be back.
"We’re not going to take these conditions next year," she said. "Particularly on 1993 salaries."

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With students and teachers at St. Croix’s Central High School confronting a lack of supplies, violence and run-down classrooms and buildings, members of the school’s Parent Teachers Association are trying to arrange a "pick-me-up" – a visit by retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell.
At the PTA’s monthly meeting Sunday, President Claudette Petersen said the group has sent an invitation letter to America’s Promise, the organization Powell chairs, in hopes of getting the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speak at the school.
The aim of America’s Promise is to increase positive development for all children who need help. The five main tenets of the nationwide effort are to expose kids to: an ongoing relationship with a caring adult; a safe place to be with structured activities during non-school hours; a healthy start; a marketable skill through effective education; and a chance to give back through community service. Petersen said that even though a visit by Powell, whose parents hailed from Jamaica, hasn't been confirmed and probably wouldn’t occur until the beginning of next school year, it would help the flagging morale of students, teachers and school administrators alike.
"We think we need a pick-me-up on campus," she said.
Meanwhile, Mary Moorhead, the American Federation of Teachers representative on the CHS campus, said that teachers’ refusal to work in the school’s music building last week came after a long period of suffering. Last Thursday, teachers walked out of the building, which houses eight classrooms and counselors’ offices, because of allergic reactions to mold and mildew.
"It got to the point where everyone was getting sick so often that they had enough and came out," Moorhead told parents.
To accommodate the loss of the rooms, Moorhead said several teachers are working in violation of their union contract that prevents them from teaching out of more than two classrooms. The AFT has agreed to give school administrators until the beginning of next school year to solve the problem in the affected building. But Moorhead said that if the problems aren’t fixed, teachers won’t be back.
"We’re not going to take these conditions next year," she said. "Particularly on 1993 salaries."