BVI News

I will not abandon my school

‘This would be the absolute worse time to get up and leave your country’ — Underhill

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist

Migrating to the United States where she owns a home may never seem more alluring than it does now for Sandy Underhill.

But the school principal said she has decided not to abandon her students at Elmore Stoutt High, which virtually has been demolished by category 5 hurricane Irma.

Underhill’s sentiment carries much reassurance for teachers and students who are looking to her for leadership in what is promised to be a tough academic year.

The school year officially began this week after being delayed by a devastating tropical wave as well as hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The disasters happened within weeks of each other.

With the considerable time lost and a ruined school campus, Underhill’s students – especially seniors expected to sit external CXC exams within the next few months – now have a massive handicap as it relates to their studies.

The Elmore Stoutt High principal, however, is not deterred.

She is sure she will successfully get her students to the proverbial finish line in fine style.

“When you’re in the business of education, a lot of people are depending on you, and you need to be a part of the rebuilding process for your country. So, if ever there was a worse time to leave it, it would have been now,” an upbeat Underhill told BVI News Online.

“Persons ask me why am I here because [they know] I lived between Atlanta and Tortola for the first two years after becoming principal, and I have my home in Atlanta. In other words, what I’m saying is that I had an opportunity. I could have [left]. What I said to those people was ‘this would be the absolute worse time to get up and leave your country,” added Underhill.

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