SPBS, August 29th, 2016 — Approximately 20 years ago, SPBS came to life. Then it was a few alumni from the Sandy Point High School, now Charles E. Mills Secondary School (CEMSS), who began exploring ways “to give back”. They found a sustainable idea which they coined “The Principal’s Award”. The idea was that such an award would always have meaning because it would truly reflect on the core desires of the principal. Implementation was easy! After all, the school at that time was governed by the legendary William Vincent Austin Hodge (aka Mr. Clarke)! He had a legacy of a young no-nonsense principal and had strong parental backing from Dieppe Bay to Sandy Point. He made it quite easy for us to form a robust partnership.
When Principal Hodge immigrated to the U.S, he immediately joined ranks with the SPBS. He brought incredible energy and leadership to the team. He spearheaded several of our initiatives and remains our lead salespersons for our fundraising initiatives.
As Vincent returns to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, SPBS wants to celebrate Vincent’s vision in helping us realize this progression in maturity and broad community support! There is no more fitting a tribute to Vincent’s energy and commitment than to look at and support the SPBS upcoming Grand Scholarship Gala event on Saturday, 3rd September at Maestros, Bronx N.Y. In the tradition of Mr. Hodge who exhibited unswerving selflessness in supporting the academic advancement of students, SPBS at the Grand Scholarship Gala will recognize four university scholarships winners, two of whom hail from St. Paul’s Village in St. Kitts.
The early years…. Vincent was instrumental in helping us move to register for Tax Exemption. This gave us the courage to secure funding more broadly. We quickly converted this to awarding more significant gifts to the high school in Sandy Point- CEMSS. We also put in place plans to recognize students from all feeder schools to CEMSS – from Dieppe Bay to Sandy Point.
The last 10 years…. Vincent served as President of SPBS from 2010 to 2012. He boldly pushed the team and his record of accomplishment was substantial:
• The Principal Award expanded to include students from St. Pauls Primary, Newton Ground Primary and the Sandy Point Primary.
• SPBS established two landmark events – an annual Awards Banquet (Labor Day Weekend in NY), and an annual Easter Breakfast. These events provide for recognition of outstanding citizens of our Federation and for bringing patrons, family and friends together for very colorful celebration.
• We implemented new scholarships to recognize Principal Awards winners who reached a significant education milestones. All 3-Principal Award Winners, are now recognized for graduating SPHS/CEMSS and graduating CFBC.
• Vincent pushed to have us provide an automatic scholarship to all Principal Award winners entering college. In fact last year, Louvilla O’Flaherty, became the first Principal Award winner to automatically qualify and she was rewarded with an Undergraduate Scholarship as she entered Monroe College.
The next 10 years…. We intend to continue to work with our existing patrons to help realize and support the dreams of many students from CEMSS. As the school celebrates its Fiftieth (50th) Anniversary, Vincent pushed to have us consider a banquet in St. Kitts. We look forward to building this bridge that expands support for SPBS from a predominantly alumni based organization out of NY, to a much broader organization with strong broad in St. Kitts.
SPBS (www.spbsinc.org) invites you to come celebrate with us as we honour our new Scholarship Winners on Saturday, 3rd September, 2016 at Maestros in Bronx, N.Y, from 8p.m to 2a.m.