History of the Sundial School


In 1966 the school for Home Economics, now the Sundial school was, established by the Reverend Sister Borgia, then principal of the St. Joseph College, which consisted of an elementary school and a Mulo.

There were students who could not finish the Mulo for some reason or the other. The boys could go to Curacao to the so-called Ambacht School, if their parents could afford it. The girls had no alternatives. So Sister Borgia decided to start with a school for Home Economics een “Huishoud School”, which was a new concept for St. Maarten. In 1968 the school for Home Economics moved into an empty space in the old Printery of the late Mr. Jose Lake Sr. from whom the school received a lot of support.

Sister Borgia gave over her leadership to the late Mr. Slippens with Juffrouw Jane as acting Principal. This more was the fragile birth of the school for Home Economics. The school never had an official name. It was called “Huishoudschool” by respecting people. The members of the staff were: Mr. Jan Slippens, Juffrouw Jane, Sister Marie Laurence, Sister Elfrida, Sister Damiana, Mrs. Ange la Drijvers, an ex-student of Juffrouw Jane.

Entrance to the Cul de Sac location next to the printery.

Entrance to the Cul de Sac location next to the printery.In the beginning there were no stoves, pots etc, so cooking could not be given. Slowly but surely the school got some appliances. The big problem was water. There was a small water reservoir in the agricultural compound (The St. Maarten Academy is now built on that spot). But most of the time it was empty. The students then formed a chain from the school to a house close by the entrance to St. Peters.  Buckets were filled with water and passed on. To do practical housekeeping, the students were bused to the Little Bay Beach Hotel, where they received training. Sister Elfrida first gave the sewing classes, but when Mrs. Angela Drijvers came she took over. She was shell-shocked. She came from the Mater Dei Huishoudschool, a well-equipped school. But Juffrouw Angela rolled up her sleeves and started working in the most primitive conditions. But she was determined. There were no gym facilities but gym classes were given on a field. The Prins Willem Alexander School is now built on that field. The students had fun.
Plans to build a new school on the Pondfill were in the making.

So a name should be given to the school. A contest was given to the students. They had to give a name, but also explain the symbolic meaning(s). The entries were put to a vote. Not one was approved so Juffrouw Elsje (Mrs. Bosch-Wilson) and Juffrouw Jane came up with Sundial.

A Sundial points to the sun, which is the source of life on earth. Our students were the source of life. A Sundial is a very small shell, but with a tremendous beauty. Our students were that.

In 1972, Marcella Hazel joined the “Bushschool”. A strict mistress for hygiene, economics and regulations. She organized and executed a sumptuous Christmas lunch for staff and students. Meanwhile Mr. Jan Slippens had left the school. Mr. Ludo van Oss became principal.

Mrs. Angela Drijvers

In 1973 the new school was ready. The name had been approved after a voting by the students. On November 11th, 1973 the new school was blessed.

In December 1974 Mr. van Oss left. Juffrouw Jane was acting principal and was appointed principal per August, 1975.

From 1981 Ms. Marcella Hazel became the principal and from 1995 Mrs. Angela Drijvers-van Heyningen was appointed principal of the Sundial school until present.Until 1976 the Sundial was a Catholic school under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Foundation. In 1976 the Pastoor Nieuwen Huis MAVO and the John Phillips MAVO were merged. The schools were governed by a neutral foundation under which Sundial School also resorted. A new law came out which changed the status of the Huishoud School. It became L.H.N.O. with 3 streams T-A-P. Very soon the title L.H.N.O. was changed to L.H.O.

Opening Sundial School 1973

In 1983 a work-group was established to study the possibilities of merging ETAO and Huishoud School (LHO) in “LADVO/ALBO”. In 1986 was the first year that male students were admitted to the Sundial School.

In 1987 LADVO/ALBO a reality. A start was made with a Hotel/Restaurant Course, a Fashion/Apparel Course and a Commercial Course, whereby students received skill training in Service, Food preparation, 

Needlecraft, Office Procedures and Bookkeeping respectively. In 1989 evaluation LADVO/ALBO. It was a success. LADVO/ALBO was 4 years’ courses with two (2) bridge years. The objective of the bridge years was to acquaint the students with a variety of subjects. This would enable the students to make a better choice of the course area they would want to continue in. At the end of the 2nd year, they would have to choose a particular area.

The changes took place in order to bridge the gap between the world of school and the world of work.

In April 1991, our school restaurant started operation for the public under the name “Les Eleves Restaurant”, which was later changed to “The Source Restaurant”. On February 14th, 1992, the official opening of “Les Eleves Fashion Center” at the entrance of the school took place. At this center all school uniforms were made. This center was financed by Cede Antiyas. On August 1st, 1993 a start was made with the Basic Health Care Course.

The LADVO however did not have a long lifespan. The inspectorate group was instructed to study the possibilities of turning the LADVO and LTO into BVO. For this reason a delegation of 4 inspectors of Secondary Education were sent to Holland on an orientation trip. Mrs. Buncamper was part of this group. The group did an extensive study of the BVO in Holland, by the way called VBO. When the group came back, the report was presented to the Director of the Central Department of Education who in turn presented it to the Minister of Education. The findings of the report were adapted to the Netherlands Antilles, giving each island some freedom. BVO became a reality after two (2) years of Basic Secondary Education, which was implemented in 1993.

However, the BVO did not live long enough as in 2001 VSBO was implemented. The Sundial now has a beautiful well-equipped school catering to students in the fields of Hospitality and Care & Wellness. The school is the responsibility of the SVOBE (Stichting tot de Bevordering van Voortgezet Onderwijs Bovenwindse Eilanden).