Winona Patrece Hendricks, called “Pat” by her friends, a native Virgin Islander, started her elementary education on St. Croix and completed second grade through tenth at public schools in Harlem, New York City. She completed eleventh and twelfth grades on St. Croix. She credits her love of education to her parents, and her aunt Beryl Francis, who was an educator. Vincentia Gordon inspired her to pursue elementary education. Mrs. Hendricks attended the College of the Virgin Islands – New York University, teacher education program earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology through the Puerto Rico Sacrado Corazon- New York University program. She obtained 18 credits in Administration and Supervision from the College of the Virgin Islands. Her teaching career began at the Grove Place School affiliated with the New York University Demonstration School Program. She taught at Grove Place School from 1969 through 1973. She was influenced by her colleague, Mrs. Chrystalia Christopher who encouraged her to used best practices in the classroom. Ms. Hendricks’ work ethics were exceptional, rarely missing school, sharing teaching strategies and always involving students in community projects. She taught at Alfredo Andrews School from 1973 through 1982 teaching intermediate grades. School reform practices such as, cooperative learning; learning styles and multiple intelligence were incorporated in her room. She was selected “Teacher of the Year” in 1974. From 1982 to 1986 she served as Assistant Principal of Alfredo Andrews. As an administrator, she frequently visited classes and coordinated many school entries in community events. She obtained a grant from the Cultural Education Division to provide a cultural after school program which provided quadrille, sandal making, West Indian Dance, agriculture, West Indian drama, macramé’, Caruso singing, and etiquette. She coordinated the first cruise ship trip for elementary students for Alfredo Andrews, Pearl B. Larsen, Ricardo Richards, and Alexander Henderson schools.
From 1986 through 1994 she served as principal for Lew Muckle School. Lew Muckle School had many accomplishments include a Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) Laboratory, Mathematics and Science Quiz Bowls, an active elementary Science Lab, a percussion band called “Fungi & Fish Band” and a beautiful chorus. Many Universities of the Virgin Islands student teachers practiced at Lew Muckle. Mrs. Hendricks took several teachers to St. Thomas to view the Oral Communications Show Case to implement similar practices on her campus. During her leadership, the LMS Suns, LMS Senators, and LMS Sluggers, all participated in Little League Baseball. Tremendous school support and leadership was exhibited by Mrs. Claudette Petersen (former school board member) for school programs. Sixth-grade teachers were encouraged to expose students to the nation’s capital Washington D. C. by taking them on an annual culminating trip before graduation.
From 1994 to 1999 she served as Deputy Superintendent with the Department of Education. She was responsible for American Education Week, Week of the Young Child, parent orientation, elementary school research books, academic visits to schools and classrooms to promote high-level instruction. She coordinated the first Department of Education conference for kindergarten through third-grade teachers. She served on the Territorial Comprehensive Reading Committee, the Standards Task Force, Integrated Instruction Task Force, Accountability Committee , Kindergarten through 16 Collaboration Committee , and represented the superintendent/s for AFT negotiations. Mrs. Hendricks was the first administrator to receive Commissioner of Education, Linda Creque’s 4C‘s Award for Competence, Caring, Cooperation & Commitment.
From 1999 to 2000 she served as Principal of the Claude Markoe School. She also started working at the University of the Virgin Islands teaching Classroom Management, other education courses and as a University Supervisor of Student Teaching. Mrs. Hendricks required students to provide every opportunity for student success and rigorous/high-level instruction.
After retiring from the Department of Education, Mrs. Hendricks continued working at the University of the Virgin Islands devoting many hours to supervising student teachers. In 2008 she ran for the Virgin Islands Board of Education to continue her dream to make sure that Virgin Islands students are receiving a higher quality of instructional services.
Mrs. Hendricks has been a community advocate for Girl Scouts, Queen Louise Home for Children, Rigidims Festival Troupe (co-founder) & honored by Pan African Organization, Tomorrow’s People, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Business & Professional Women and her church.