TeachBeyond welcomes Cowman International School as a new partner. Located just outside Cap Haitien, Haiti, the school was founded in the 1960s by One Mission Society to serve the children of missionaries. Today, 90 percent of the students are nationals. One Mission Society is in the process of passing ownership into the hands of the newly formed school board.
The school is attractive to Haitians because it is a Christian school and is the only one in northern Haiti where English is the language of instruction, according to Marilyn Wadge, school board member. French is one of two official languages of Haiti, the other being Haitian Creole. Several families travel a great distance daily to bring their children to Cowman. It does not have boarding facilities.
Melissa Gross, the director, says that when she first visited the school in 2010 it had 23 students. Enrollment had more than doubled when she returned as a faculty member in 2013. Today there are nearly 200 students in grades K-3 to 12. Cowman added grade 12 this year, and will graduate its first class of seniors in May 2019.
“We came to help develop the high school, and that is the reason for the growth in the past few years. There is a demand from Haitians for high school, and we could grow more if we had the space and more teachers,” Melissa says.
TeachBeyond members who began teaching at Cowman this year include Kristen Robinson, Zenobia Curtis, and Bradley Pyle. Shawn and Jaimie Tiechmer are in the process of raising financial support. The school pays a $750 monthly stipend and TeachBeyond members raise $1,850 per person in additional monthly support.
Recruiting faculty was one of the reasons Cowman sought partnership with TeachBeyond. There are openings in the current school year for a science teacher in the junior and senior high school and a teacher for grade 6. They are also looking for a special education teacher. Click here to see openings and send an inquiry.
About three-fourths of the teachers are Haitian, and the rest are missionaries. “Our national teachers are not certified. We are developing a plan to provide professional education leading to certification,” Melissa says.
The school offers some extra-curricular activities such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball. A student-led praise and worship band leads worship in chapel every Friday morning. Arranging for coaches and other after-school supervision is a challenge and falls disproportionately on missionary staff because Haitian teachers are only expected to work the length of the school day.
Cowman’s mission is to provide a Christ-centered education based on North American curriculum and standards to develop Godly future leaders. The school also serves the whole family on many topics from developing strong marriages, Godly parenting strategies, to simple education in health and nutrition.