Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017

Geography Teacher picks up the pieces

By Julie AlcinDerrick De Ruitte

South Reward — “I walked around and got really sad, and as I sat staring at my classroom, I just wanted to cry, but the best way to deal with it is to get something and start cleaning,” says Derrick De Ruitte, a Geography Teacher who has been teaching at Milton Peters College (MPC) for one year and an half.

Milton Peters College: Music RoomMPC was left in ruins after Irma struck the island – leaving teachers to clean up behind its mess. The roofs of the classrooms were broken down and the floors were flooded.”I started with my bare hands. Someone had a broom, and colleagues, people from the community, and the military were helping as well,” Ruitte says, he had spent 4 hours trying to put things back together that day and 2 hours the day before. He said that he felt better after finishing his classroom, and that he was going to come back until everything is finished.

Milton Peters College“This is my school, and our children’s future. I came here to be a part of St. Maarten’s society and help build the future for our children. If there’s one moment in history I’m needed here, it’s now, because without school, there’s nothing for the future. So I start by cleaning up,” he continues, smiling – holding onto the hope that everything will be better soon.

Milton Peters CollegeHe chose to look on the positive side of the situation, and says that “the news is filled with the very sad and dark side of people all the time, but I really want people to focus on all the good around us. Everybody is working together and they’re working so hard that it brings tears of joy to my eyes”.


Caption: Photo above of Derrick De Ruitte, a Geography Teacher from MPC/Contributed by Julie Alcin.