James Provost, familiarly known as Jim to friends and Pops to his extended family.
Born April 4, 1943 in Charleston, West Virginia where his father had taken a job, he grew up in eleven locations in Connecticut and New Jersey (attending three grade schools and five high schools) before leaving for LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During his college years he met his wife, Theresa and they married before the start of his Senior year, at the end of which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science, with minors in History and Psychology. He began teaching Eighth Grade in Philadelphia and went to Temple University as a Master's candidate in Psychology. over his first two years of teaching, he and Terri pondered leaving the city, as they were both raised in small town atmospheres. Trips to New England, and the Atlantic coast did not inspire them to move there, but a vacation to St. John and St. Thomas changed them forever. They arrived on St. John June twentieth 1968 for a stay at Caneel Bay Resort and extended their stay to three weeks, staying at Alton Adams' Guest House in St. Thomas. The time spent talking with Mr. Adams, and encounters with numerous other Island people, convinced Jim and Terri that this is where they wanted to live. Jim went to the Department of Education and asked about application. He was told teachers were needed, given an application to fill out and interviewed on the spot. Returning to the mainland to fulfill his teaching contract there, he and Terri sold the car, gave away the furniture, and Jim began teaching at then Wayne Aspinall Junior High School on St. Thomas, as there were no openings on St. John. Among his coworkers that year were Oswin Sewer and Elroy Sprauve, who helped keep the St. John flame alive. Jim and Terri bought land on St. John in 1970, began preparing it in 1974, and began building when Jim transferred to Julius Sprauve School in 1978. They, with their "foster daughter" Joi-Ebony (actually the daughter of a friend) lived at Pond Mouth while building. Joi returned to her family in 1979, and Victor was born at the Knud Hansen Hospital in1981. Eric made his entry just over a year later in 1982. Jim retired from teaching in 1995, but returned in the substitute pool and as a Summer school teacer for three years in 2003, after working for a Federal Department of Education contractor administering the National Assessment of Educational Progress in all Virgin Islands schools. In between all this he managed a guest house and several villas on Water Island for four years, became a professional photographer and printing and adverising salesman for Aware Advertising and Dukane Press, and got his Real Estate license in1973. In 1983 he got his broker's license and specialized in commercial management, managing the Boulon Center and the Centerline Building on St. John. He worked with Rudy Wells with the St. John School of the Arts Steel Unlimited II youth steel orchestra, of which his sons were members, and later became SJSA steel band instructor when Rudy retired, directing the SJSA adult steel band and the Gift Hill School Steel band forfive years. Jim also worked with the Young Athletes in Action Program first as a soccer coach and referree and eventually head of the soccer program until Hurricane Marilyn ended it. He was a charter member of the boad of directors of the VI Soccer Association. Jim also spent about twenty years dancing with the Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers and the St. John Cultural Dancers. Jim has been a boardmember and treasurer of his homeowners association, treasurer and president of the Cruz Bay Day Care Center PTA, and vice president and president of the Julius E. Sprauve School PTA.