Looking Back On Another Year At TJS

As the end of another school year has come to a close at The Joseph School, we’d like to take the opportunity to look back on the triumphs of the past year!

COVID-19 continued to affect normal operations, however, our students and staff were able to return to campus to continue in-person classes starting in September. Additional cleaning procedures and temperature checks were put in place to make sure everyone stayed healthy all year long! Thankfully, we have not experienced any cases at TJS. However, our staff stayed vigilant — classrooms were cleaned regularly, students washed their hands frequently, and the teachers instructed students and their families on ways to stay safe from infections.

There was a lot to celebrate this year! In December, we held our annual holiday event where each student presented a gift to a classmate. In April, Agriculture Day was a big success. The students wore traditional Haitian clothing and helped harvest fruits and vegetables from the campus garden to prepare a feast!

This year we saw our students’ school pride continue to grow and make TJS the best it has ever been. Everyone is working together to take ownership of their campus and keep an eye on food, trash and gardening.

During the last week of school, the students studied hard for their end of year exams. These exams help us measure the progress each student made over the course of the year. We are so proud of their hard work and the flexibility they showed during unprecedented times.

At the annual end of year program on June 17th, the families of each student were invited to celebrate at The Joseph School. At this event they were presented with their student’s grades for the year. This is a special event that brings all of TJS together to celebrate the hard work of the students.

Even though classes may have ended, our staffs’ contact with the students does not stop for summer vacation. During the summer months, TJS staff make sure students have adequate food, offer school review work for those who need it, and make sure they are staying safe and healthy.

This year has proven that The Joseph School really is a blessed place. We are so thankful for the support of our donors who made this year possible, and we are excited to look towards the fall when 32 new first grade students will join the TJS family.

The Joseph School 2020-2021 Student Body

Small in Numbers, Big in Heart

Have you ever wondered about the U.S. team behind The Joseph School? While our teachers and staff in Haiti are an integral part of the school’s success, the four members of our U.S. based team work tirelessly to join forces with our Haitian staff to coordinate funding, create curriculum, and collaborate on operations. We’d like to introduce you to our U.S. team.  

Annita D’Amico, Ed.D.

Annita has been the Executive Director of The Joseph School (TJS) since August 2019. She is dedicated to the promotion and development of the skills and talents of the staff here in the U.S. and in Haiti. Annita spends her days strategizing, brainstorming, and problem solving with our team both here and in Haiti; and works with TJS partners, sharing student stories, updating the board, and making sure our budget stays balanced. Annita is a lifelong educator. Her role with The Joseph School is to ensure the mission and vision are carried out. She is married with 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

Katie Martin

As the Director of Education, Katie creates the curriculum plan for each grade level at The Joseph School. Katie works hand in hand with TJS principal Rose to provide a culturally committed curriculum in Creole, French, and English. Katie also works as an advocate for our teachers, insuring they receive professional development opportunities.  Recently, Katie partnered with the Department of Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University to create a learning unit for Nashville teachers to share with their students about Haitian culture. Read more about her work in last month’s blog here. Katie also is a gymnastics coach in her spare time. 

Jean Bildad Micheal “ Bildad”

Bildad has been the Director of Operations for the Joseph School since its inception. He is the primary liaison between the U.S. staff and the Haitian staff.  He was thirty-three when he began working with The Joseph School. He communicates daily with the operations staff in Haiti to ensure things run smoothly across campus.  Born and raised in Haiti, Bildad is the second child of a family of eight, that include five brothers and one sister.  He is married and is an active member of White House First Baptist Church in Tennessee.  

Susan Liberatore, Director of Development

Susan joined The Joseph School team in January 2021 to focus on fundraising and development efforts as the school continues to grow.  She works closely with the executive director and board of directors to evaluate financial needs and implements strategic plans for funding.  She oversees donor engagement and events throughout the year. Susan is married with 2 daughters, Sophia 20, and Alexandra 17.  

Patricia Bates, Administrative Specialist

Patricia recently began working with The Joseph School in an administrative role.  She works with both the director of development and the executive director regularly.  She handles donor acknowledgements, database maintenance, and budget tracking.  She is an integral part of our team.