About the Sr.Regina Primary School
Sister Regina was the first prioress of the Sisters of the Dominican Order on St, Maarten. She was a pioneer of Catholic education on St, Maarten. Sr. Regina arrived here in 1890.
In 1897 Sunday school was started in the then newly built church in Simpsonbay. That year school was started in the same church. In those days there was no bridge, so the nuns came from Philipsburg to Cole bay and were rowed over to Simpsonbay.
There was a jetty behind the church where they would land. They slept in the sacristy of the church. A small fire was made to cook their meals. In 1946 the church school closed its doors. As a result the children of Simpsonbay had to go to the St. Joseph School in Philipsburg. About twenty years later there was a need for a second Catholic school on the island. The population was growing. Simpsonbay would once again have a school. In 1967 Mary Star of the Sea Church was dedicated and the old church building became the Regina School .
This was a temporary location as a new school was to be constructed on a site along the main road to the airport, and on the recently filled in lagoon. This road is now called the Simpsonbay rd. Mr. Win Scheerder, the first principal, together with Miss Violet Halley and Miss Rose Vlaun, both from Simpsonbay, were the first to teach at the newly established school. The school expanded. Two classrooms were housed in the home of Edgar and Daisy Peterson.
In 1970 the new Regina School opened it doors with six classrooms and a gym. It was the most modern and best equipped school on St. Maarten. On February 20, 1970, Bishop Williams Ellis, blessed the school, a highlight of its history. This was our Bishop’s first official deed on St. Maarten.
For the twentieth anniversary Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten changed the name to Sister Regina Primary School in honour of Sister Regina. The Butterflies Kindergarten, housed in the old guard house across from the big cistern, later on also moved into a new building. The schools were separate by a fence.
As of August 2005, due to F.B.E. (Foundation Based Education) both schools were fused and are now called Sister Regina Primary School . In 1994 a poll conducted by the P.T.A. of the school showed that 73% of parents wanted Dutch as language of instruction. In that year the Sr. Regina Primary School became a school with Dutch as the language of instruction from group 1 through 8.
Simpsonbay had developed from a sleepy fishing village into a busy commercial center. Many families moved away in those years leaving fewer children living in the neighborhoud. As a result the school population has dipped in the first decenium of the new millenium. The make-up of the school population drastically changed. Names as Peterson, Halley, Williams and Vlaun are hardly heard anymore.
The Sister Regina Primary School is proud of having had and still has the opportunity to mold the future of many children. We will continue to bring forth men and women of caliber as our school song says. With the Lord’s blessing we will continue to be a pillar of our community. With the cooperation of parents we can achieve these goals.
Principals of the school:
1967-1974 Mr. Wim Scheerder
1974-1980 Mr. Stanley Hodge
1980-1983 Mr. Huub Keulers.
1983-2006 Mrs. Nancy Hodge
2006-2013 Mrs. Ria Uiterloo
2013-2014 Mrs. Natasha Ambrose
2014- present Mrs. Samantha Beaton