Prominent Virgin Islander laid to rest, was graduate of Girls High School in St. Kitts

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 7TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Prominent indigenous Virgin Islander and Educator Dr. Pearl Lanthe Varlack has died at the age of 79.

Dr. Varlack, who is from the sister island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands died on April 12, 2013 at the Brooklyn Hospital in New York City after a brief illness and was buried in New York on April 23, 2013.

Virgin Islands News Online reported: Born and raised on Anegada, Dr. Varlack was the last of six children of Anna and Ludwick Varlack. She began her career in education as a pupil teacher in 1947. Following her graduation from the St. Kitts-Nevis Girls’ High School in 1950, her employment over the next 18 years ranged from assistant teacher and head teacher/principal in Anegada and Road Town Schools to Supervisor of Primary Schools (acting) and teacher in the Virgin Islands Secondary School.

During this period she earned a First Class certificate from Erdiston College (Barbados), the Professional Certificate in Education from the University of the West Indies, and a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration from Inter American University of Puerto Rico. For a few of these years she was the elected representative of the Teachers Association on the Board of Education.

Relocating to St Thomas in 1968, Dr. Varlack joined the faculty of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) after two years as an associate in its Caribbean Research Institute, assisting in examining the relationships between the Virgin Islands and the United States Virgin Islands. During her tenure at University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Varlack earned a Master’s of Arts Degree in Social and Personality Psychology from the New School for Social Research and the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Higher Education and Educational Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

At UVI, she progressed to the rank of Professor of Education and chaired the Division of Education for 10 years on an intermittent basis. In this last position she served on a Commission on Education established and charged by statute with evaluating the public school system of the USVI. On retirement in 1999, ‘the distinguished status of Professor Emeritus’ was ‘conveyed upon’ her in appreciation of her service to the university.

Dr. Varlack was one of the early members of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s Board of Governors. As founding trustee of the Frederick Pickering Memorial Foundation, she was also its executive director for ten years.

Established in 1984, the Frederick Pickering Memorial Foundation is committed to the promotion of the study of the economics, social history, education and politics of the Virgin Islands, the support and conduct of research and the publication of such findings, and the facilitation of lectures and workshops to further its aims.

While in St. Thomas, USVI she was among the founding members of the League of British Virgin Islanders and she also served on the Anegada Lands Committee.

The prominent Virgin Islander was also Elected Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. She was also a member of Pi Lambda Theta.

In her long list of academic works she published The Virgin Islands Story with Dr. Norwell Harrigan in 1975- the first comprehensive history of the Virgin Islands (now out of print). Dr Varlack has authored many other articles on Virgin Islands history and a monograph on teacher education, ‘Beyond the Carbon Copy’.

She has co-authored booklets on the history of the VI and USVI and before her retirement she served as a Professor of Education at the University of the Virgin Islands, USVI.

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