|Anita Gordon Plaskett|
The then College of the Virgin Islands was an integral part of my life for thirty-two years! The friendships, knowledge and unforgettable times have been and continue to be immeasurable to my ongoing professional and personal evolvement. What I remember and treasure most are the earlier days on the St. Croix Campus beginning in the summer of 1970. Classes were held in the Great House on the hill and a small library was made available on the ground floor. There was a long counter in the main entrance and Ms. Ethel Harris prepared delicious sandwiches and pastries to accommodate the majority of the students who came directly to class from fulltime jobs. Across from the Great House was a small lab where biology classes were held. This was our college campus. I will never forget Dr. Highfield’s intense Spanish and history classes that kept you asking questions and making connections with personal, local and international events. Dr. Forbes’ extensive experience and expertise in the sciences exposed his students to concepts far beyond those discussed in our textbook. His approach was multisensory, thus the learning was more sustainable and as a result, many of his students continued careers in the sciences.
|Anita Gordon Plaskett at CVI graduation 1978|
My early years at the now University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) underscored the premise that the size, location and contents of an institution do not define its effectiveness… it is the dedication, knowledge, high expectations set by and for the teacher and learner, and emphasis on the relevance of learning beyond the classroom walls that determine its graduates’ valuable contributions to their communities and the world. My relationship with UVI began in that Great House and those experiences propelled an ongoing affiliation through teaching at my alma mater and being an active member of the Alumni Association for twenty-two and twenty-eight years, respectively. The legacy was passed on to my son, Osman Gordon (’93), who was a member of the first class to graduate with a degree in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems. He is now a network engineer with Homeland Security.
Though I have relocated to the mainland to be a doting grandmother, UVI will always be near and dear to me. It has truly transformed my life as it has done for all who have been blessed to pass through its portals.
Dr. Plaskett recently retired from the Newport News Public School System as an assistant principal. She was also a teacher, assistant principal, principal, insular superintendent and educational consultant with the Virgin Islands Department of Education.