Sandra Antoine will soon earn her Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of the Virgin Islands. Currently, an elementary school teacher at the Arthur A. Richards K-8 school on St. Croix, Sandra has set forth the path to one day become an education administrator.
Sandra enrolled at UVI as a part-time student, where she started out taking two courses. However due to the untimely passing of her father, Sandra decided to take some time off. “That put my master’s courses on a pause, so instead of just taking off a semester, I took an entire year off,” mentions Sandra. “After taking a year off, I was blessed with my two last kids, my daughter and son, which required me to take some more time off.”
After taking some time off, Sandra decided to re-enroll into UVI to earn her master’s degree. “Time was going by and I really wanted to finish my degree program,” says Sandra. She recalls reaching out to Dr. Magdalene Tobias for assistance with re-enrolling. “She was really excited to hear that I was re-enrolling, I think she was even more excited than I was,” recalls Sandra.
Sandra is grateful for her time at the University and the overwhelming support she received from her family, Dr. Denis Griffith and other faculty members from the School of Education. To students pursuing their bachelors or master’s degree, Sandra advised them, “to always find time to pray about it. Whatever you put your mind to do is possible.”
She also emphasized for students who are currently enrolled and are raising children, to not be discouraged. “Earning my master’s degree is an example that I am setting forth for my four children,” added Sandra. “For those students who are parents and are currently working to earn their degree, know that you are setting forth a great example for your children so that they too can be successful and push forward towards something positive.”
While enrolled as an undergraduate student at UVI, Sandra remembers waking up early mornings to catch the Vitran Bus in order to attend class on time, while at the same time working a part-time job and raising two children.
In 2005, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Since then, she has been teaching students for 15 years, a career in which she says is rewarding. “It has been such a great feeling to see some of my students graduate from high school and even college.”
With her bachelor’s degree in hand, Sandra went on to pursue her master’s degree.
In her final semester at UVI, Sandra says her field learning project was challenging yet a wonderful experience. “I had the opportunity to shadow administrators at Adult Education, Eulalie Rivera K-8 school, Central High School and John H. Woodson junior high school,” says Sandra. She was able to see first-hand what was taught in her educational leadership courses as it relates to the personalities of teachers, parents and students.