Meet the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is the governing body that ensures and stewards the mission of Antilles School. Currently composed of seventeen members of the community, the Board follows the guidelines and principles established by the National Association of Independent Schools (www.nais.org). Ethnically diverse and gender-balanced, members include business owners and executives, lawyers, accountants, educators, alumni, and parents of current and former students. The Antilles Board provides support and oversight to the Head of School, who manages the school’s day-to-day operations. Together they consult on strategic, financial and other policy initiatives, monitoring and ensuring that the school’s mission is relevant and vital to the community it serves.
Angelina Daswani was born and raised in Hong Kong, a huge melting pot of many different people and cultures. Daswani's extensive travel has led to her fluency in many languages including Hindi, Sindi and Mandarin. After moving to New York to pursue her college dreams, Daswani impressively graduated with a double major in International Business and Asian Studies at Hofstra University in Long Island in just three and a half years, while also serving as the President of the Organization of International Students.
Following graduation, Daswani successfully landed the position of Fixed Income Analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York. This experience offered her a strong financial background and a broad international perspective that continues to fuel her character to this day.
In 1999, Daswani moved to the Virgin Islands after meeting her husband, Vivek. Together they are the proud parents of three boys, Azad, Jahan and Krishna, all of whom attend Antilles School.
In addition to playing a key role in the family business, Daswani takes pride in her active community engagement schedule, proudly serving as a volunteer and board member for a number of local non-profit organizations including, The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
Aside from her family, Daswani's interests are traveling, reading, playing tennis as well as teaching vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, and circuit spin classes at the Antilles School Jackson Complex Wellness Center.
Gail Walker is the executive director of the Lana Vento Charitable Trust. Gail holds a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in environmental geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Much of Gail's time is dedicated to volunteering not only as a Trustee of Antilles School but also as a Trustee of Virgin Islands Montessori and International Academy. She is also certified outdoor recreation leader. Gail and her husband, Eric, both share a passion for paddle boarding, surfing, and skiing. They both represents the USVI in stand up paddle board competitions as a members of the Virgin Islands Stand Up Paddle Board Team.
In addition to her love of the outdoors, Gail is interested in classic cars and is working towards her pilot's license.
Juanita Young has rejoined the Antilles Board of Trustees having previously served as the Board's Treasurer and Head of the Finance Committee during her term from 1993-2003.
The Accounting Manager at Trust Asset, Ms. Young has extensive experience in the financial world having been the Chief Operating Officer and Controller at Globalvest and the Controller at Sapphire Beach Resort. In addition to her professional positions, Ms. Young is the former President of the United Way and current chair of the WAPA Governing Board.
Ms. Young and her husband John Phillips have resided in the Virgin Islands over 30 years. Their son Nicholas is currently living and working in the Washington, DC area.
Kevin Williams currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer at 13D Research (USVI), LLC, an investment research firm focused on identifying the asset classes, markets, and industry groups that are positioned to outperform all others in the coming year. Prior to joining 13D, Kevin worked as a Senior Associate at Chicago Growth Partners, a middle market private equity firm, where he focused on identifying and executing leveraged buy-out investments in the firm's core focus areas. He spent the previous 12 years serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams where he led a SEAL Assault Troop and Coalition Forces in prosecution of the Global War on Terror. He earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Arts and Technology and involved in the development of the UVI Entrepreneurship Program. He and his wife Toni have three daughters.
Erika A. Kellerhals is an attorney in private practice who specializes in tax and transactional matters. She is a member of Kellerhals Ferguson Kroblin PLLC. Ms. Kellerhals attended University College London and graduated from St. Peter’s College. She holds a law degree from Brooklyn Law School and a Masters in Taxation (LL.M.) from New York University.
Born and raised in New York City, Ms. Kellerhals remained in NY after graduation from NYU and practiced at a boutique New York firm that specialized in providing comprehensive tax advice to individuals and closely held corporations. After relocating to the Virgin Islands in 2003, she expanded on these practice areas and gained a comprehensive understanding of doing business in the territory at a local U.S. Virgin Islands firm before launching her own firm in 2008. She formed Kellerhals Ferguson LLP in 2011 with her current partner and former co-worker, Greg Ferguson. Ms. Kellerhals is admitted to practice in New York, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and England and Wales.
In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees of Antilles School, Ms. Kellerhals is actively involved with many community organizations to which she donates time and services.
Jeanne Brennan Wiebracht, CPA was born and raised in New Jersey. She and her husband, Mathias Wiebracht moved to St. Thomas in 1985 and own See and Ski Powerboats. They have three children who have attended Antilles School since the age of three: Thomas, Michelle, and Nicolle.
Ms. Brennan attended Bucknell University, where she earned a BA in Psychology and continued her education at Pace University, obtaining a masters degree in Accountancy. Ms. Brennan started her professional career in New York City with Price Waterhouse. After relocating to the Virgin Islands she accepted a position with Brammer, Chasen and O'Connell and later became partner in the public accounting firm Brennan, O'Connell and LeCuyer. She currently holds the position of controller at a financial services company.
Ms. Brennan has over two decades of experience in accounting and auditing. Her specialty is in the not-for-profit area. She has provided accounting services to not-for-profit organization such as Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and United Way of St. Thomas-St. John. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virgin Islands Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Throughout his extensive career, Richard has also shown a personal commitment to civic participation and outreach in the USVI. Over the years, he has served as the Chairman for Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Board Member for the United Way, Co-Chair of the Tourism Transition Team established by Governor Charles Turnbull, a member of the Economic Recovery Task Force established by Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., a member of the Overall Economic Development Strategy organization, and Richard has coached Little League Baseball and JV Flag Football at Antilles School. Richard is also presently serving as a Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Taxicab Commission.
Richard attended Antilles School from 1969 to 1972. He later moved to Florida, graduated from high school there and attended the University of Florida. Richard's son attended Antilles from kindergarten through 12th grade and recently graduated from U. of Miami.
Attorney Leigh Goldman was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in San Diego, Ca, before living in Atlanta, Miami, and settling in Saint Thomas in 2001. He earned a BA in Economics from the University of Georgia, an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the University of Miami (FL), and a JD from the Georgia State University College of Law. After working for the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, and for several local law offices, he now manages his own transactional focused legal practice. He is involved locally with the Hebrew Congregation of Saint Thomas, Pistarckle Theater, the USVI Rugby Football Union, and plays minor roles in other community organizations.
Lois Hassell-Habtes is a long time educator and educational administrator who began her teaching career at the Peace Corps Elementary School, now named the Yvonne Bowsky Elementary School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from the College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, Maryland; and her Master of Arts in Music Education and Ph.D. in Educational Administration (with a concentration in Music Education) from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Urbana.
She has served as Music Supervisor, State Coordinator for Arts & Culture, Assistant Principal at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School and Principal, at the Joseph Sibilly Elementary School. She recently retired from Principalship at the Emanuel Benjamin Oliver Elementary School.
She has taught Group Piano Music and Caribbean Music Classes at the University of the Virgin Islands as an Adjunct Professor of Music, and will return in the Fall of 2016 to teach Piano as well as Teaching Music in the Secondary Schools. She also served as the last Chair of the Board of Governors of the Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage Institute, and is a known storyteller and musician. Dr. Hassell-Habtes is Co-Minister of Music and Organist at the Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church. She continues to work on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, previously as one of the elected Delegates to the Fifth Constitutional Convention who testified before our United States Congress, and is presently one of the appointed members to The United States Virgin Islands Transfer Centennial Commission.
Her publications with her husband include: “Perceptions of Inclusion by U.S. Virgin Island Educators.” Disability Studies Journal. Vol. 32, No 2 (2012), and “Public Attitudes of Virgin Islanders Towards People With Disabilities.” International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science, Vol. 2 No. 5, June 2014 pp 1-14 .” She is the author of Broo ‘Nansi and the Tar Baby, a publication of Little Bell Caribbean, and a Virgin Islands Story for the Governors’ Summer Reading Challenge 2016. She is a Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary) a Virgin Islands Cultural Endowment Fellow, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow.
She is married to Dr. Yegin Habtes, Professor of Education at the University of the Virgin Islands and presently, Senior Executive Director of the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. They have two children, Dr. Sennai Habtes, Research Assistant Professor of Biological Oceanography at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Dr. Imnett Habtes, a Medical Doctor in Pulmonology at Sloan Kettering Medical University.
Sarah Loewenstein is currently a consultant for MLM Leasing, a company that specializes in leasing Beech 1900D aircraft to the international aviation market. Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA and holds BA degrees in both Communication Studies and Theatre & Dance. She and her husband, Elliot, have two children who attend Antilles School. Sarah is dedicated to volunteering not only as a Trustee of Antilles School but also as an active participant in the daily lives of her family.
Joann Penn Lynch, a native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, is a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School. She attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Creighton University.
Joann shares ownership of V.I.P Awards and Engraving, Inc. and The Viking Corporation with her husband Berisford and serves as Manager of the former. She holds membership in or is affiliated with several organizations which include the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, Awards and Recognition Association, Advertising Specialties Institute and several moving associations: FIDI, a European Moving Association, LACMA of Latin America, International Association of Movers, just to name a few. She is also a member of the American Association of Notary Publics.
Joann has won several awards including The Virgin Islands Daily News Best of the Best, The New Image Foundation Small Business Owner of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year-twice! In her spare time she enjoys traveling and boating.
An active member of V.I. Christian Ministries, a non-denominational church, Joann and her husband are the proud parents of Berisford II (BJ), a student at Antilles School.
Andrew is a Managing Member of Alpine Group USVI, an investment firm located on St. Thomas. Andrew is a native New Yorker who moved to the Virgin Islands in 2009 to manage Alpine’s international equities portfolio. He is now responsible for overseeing all operational and management aspects of Alpine as a member of its investment committee.
Andrew has had an extensive career within the finance and investments space, previously working as a financial analyst as well as a trader and portfolio manager earlier in his career. Just prior to joining Alpine, Andrew served as head of research for Sire Management, a $1 billion long/short equity fund of hedge funds located in New York, analyzing and managing portfolios of hedge fund investments for foundations, endowments and high net worth individuals.
Andrew was born and raised in Queens, New York and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. He went on to receive a BS in Finance and Management from Binghamton University, including international studies at the London School of Economics. Andrew later pursued both an MBA and an MS in Risk Management from the NYU Stern School of Business. He has also earned a Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute and is a certified Financial Risk Manager with the Global Association of Risk Professionals.
In his spare time, Andrew especially enjoys participating in the growing Ultimate Frisbee community of the Virgin Islands. Having competed in three consecutive World Championship tournaments he brings a wealth of knowledge and ability to the game. Andrew lives on St. Thomas with his wife and young son.
Averad Penn is an owner and manager of Penn Hotels & Marinas, a real estate development and management company, in the British Virgin Islands. Averad is also founder and director of Small World Group, a financial advisory company, in the British Virgin Islands.
Averad was born in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and raised primarily in New York City. His family lineage derives from the Virgin Islands and he has always remained connected to the Virgin Islands: spending summer vacations during his formative years in Tortola and St. Thomas with extended family; completing several internships with Virgin Islands companies during his college years; and, vacationing annually in the Virgin Islands during his stateside career.
Averad graduated from Bronx High School of Science and continued his education first, at Dartmouth College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, and then, at Cornell University, where he obtained a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate. He also holds an International and Comparative Law Certificate from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, is a member of the New York State Bar and a Six Sigma Black Belt trained project manager.
Before returning to the Virgin Islands in 2007, Averad had a successful career in financial management and regulation, with tenures as a securities trader at Heartland Securities, a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a vice president at JP Morgan Chase, and a senior examiner at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.
Averad and his wife, Dr. Cecilia Penn, a pediatrician and health care administrator, have two children at Antilles School, Araba and Averad.
Mr. Allison “Allie” Petrus was born and raised on the Island of St. Thomas. Allie, as he is called, is a graduate of the Charlotte Amalie High School Class of 1981. He earned a Bachelor degree of Arts in Psychology from Kean University, a Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands.
Allie served a tour of duty in the US Army. He was employed at the University of Louisville's Regional Center in the position of Area Training Coordinator. Upon his return home to the Virgin Islands, Allie was elected to the Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands for three terms (21st thru the 23rd Legislature), where he served as the Majority Leader in his final term before retiring from elective office in 2000.
Allie is married to his best friend & business partner Mrs. Beverly Drew-Petrus and is the father of two daughters, Ki-Yanna & Ari-Yanna Petrus. He and his wife are the owners and operators of the four Subway Franchises on St. Thomas, Petrus Gas Station, Petrus Plaza and Sbarro Restaurant.
Allie is passionate about giving back to his community. He was the founder and the Executive producer of the local award winning teen TV Talk Show, Graffiti Street. Under his guidance, the program earned two National Awards for the best teen television programming in the Nation and was also recognized by U.S. Justice Department as one of the Country’s top 100 crime prevention programs. Allie was also instrumental in starting the St. Croix's branch of Graffiti Street. Other community involvement activities include: Co-Founder of Positive Tree, Inc, a youth mentoring program, sponsor of the Caribbean Little League Baseball Tournament, the Cancer Center Fundraisers, Relay for Life and the Emerald Gems Basketball Camp. Allie served as a member of the Port Authority Governing Board.
Claire Starkey is president and co-founder of Fintrac Inc., an agricultural consultancy firm that has been improving farm productivity, family nutrition, and smallholder incomes in Africa, Asia, Central America, Jamaica and Haiti for twenty-five years.
She and her husband (and business partner) Tom Klotzbach opened a corporate office on St. Thomas in 2005. Fintrac recruits in the territory for staff across multiple disciplines, including project management, monitoring & evaluation, human resources, information technologies, and accounting, and is pleased to have so many talented Virgin Islanders (and Antilles graduates!) on its team.
Prior to joining Fintrac, Claire managed a small business program for USAID in the Eastern Caribbean, and worked as a program manager for Caribbean-Central America Action in Washington, DC. She and Tom were also married in Barbados, and spent their early marriage in Antigua, so have long and deep ties to the region.
Claire sits on the board of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, as well as on the Antilles board, and is a past board member of National Women's Business Association. In addition to leading Fintrac's organizational development, she provides oversight to its philanthropic giving, which includes incredibly deserving organizations such as the Family Connection, Dancing Classrooms, My Brothers Workshop, Family Resource Center, VI Patient Assist, G-clef Music Academy, and the Forum. The company is also a major sponsor of the Mothers Against Guns Annual Walk/Run event, and the St. Thomas & St. John Agricultural Fair (underwriting awards to schools with the best community gardens, aquaculture ponds, and livestock activities in 2015).
She and Tom are the proud parents of Liam Klotzbach, who is currently a graduate student in education in NYC, and Maggie, who has the distinction of having started at age 2 in the very first TLC class.
Mr. Celso E. Vargas serves as Vice President of Accounting for Guardian Insurance Company, Inc. (a local property and casualty insurance company), Heritage Insurance Company (incorporated in the BVI), and Echelon Property & Casualty Insurance Company (based in Illinois). Mr. Vargas has been employed with Guardian since July 1990 and during his tenure has worked in various roles within the Accounting and Finance departments. Prior to joining Guardian, Mr. Vargas served as an Accounting Supervisor for Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Puerto Rico from 1985 to 1990, which at that time was the largest pharmaceutical company in Puerto Rico. Mr. Vargas has studied at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez campus, and Sacred Heart University. He received a BA degree in Accounting from the Inter-American ... University and continued studies toward the MBA with a concentration in finance. Mr. Vargas has over 30 years of experience in accounting. He has provided accounting services to not-for-profit organizations such as the United Way of St. Thomas-St. John.
Celso E. Vargas was born in Manhattan, New York and lived in Connecticut for 12 years before moving with his family to Puerto Rico. He has been living on St. Thomas since July of 1990 and is married to Julia Vargas, a local CPA, who was born and raised on St. Thomas. They have one daughter, Gabriela, who has attended Antilles School since the age of two. Mr. Vargas also has three (3) adult children from a previous marriage.
A proud graduate of the Class of 2000, Attorney Su-Layne Walker is truly a product of the Antilles system. While at the school, she was an active member of the student body and served as officer for multiple student organizations, while also excelling as a three-sport athlete (Su-Layne also picked up the title of Most Valuable Female Athlete in 2000). She holds fond memories of her time at Antilles.
After graduating in 2004 from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Su-Layne returned to Antilles School as a member of the faculty and assistant in the Admissions Office. She taught Caribbean History, World History, and Civics. She also served as an advisor to the Class of 2006, coach for the Antilles' Moot Court team, a school chaperone, and the assistant coach for the boys' varsity volleyball team.
Su-Layne is also a graduate of George Washington University Law School. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Virgin Islands Bar. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kaye Christian of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the Honorable Ive A. Swan of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands. Currently, Su-Layne is an Assistant Attorney General for the Virgin Islands Department of Justice where she works in the Solicitor General's Division.
In 2014 Su-Layne co-founded Get Involved VI, a small nonprofit that aims to broaden social awareness on many community issues. Get Involved VI successfully executed a voter registration and awareness campaign that included registration drive happy hours, a social media push, community interaction at the annual Peace Concert, and a very successful gubernatorial forum. Su-Layne serves as a wish granter for Make-A-Wish VI and is an active member of the Antilles School Alumni Association.