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Hotseat - Dimitri Beauperthuy

747_hotseat~Sports instructor~

Dimitri Beauperthuy is a physical education teacher at Learning Unlimited (LU) and a sports instructor, who coaches youngsters who show a talent in a particular sport. He's one of the young St. Maarteners who left the island to study and has lately returned and entered the work force. After growing up on the island with a mom and dad, who both played volleyball and softball (his dad also played baseball), Dimitri hardly had a choice but to enter the world of sports.

Dimitri was one of the athletes in the 1999 Kingdom Games – you might remember that the Netherlands Antilles team won baseball. These games didn't go without any hiccups, but it definitely was a total learning curve for Dimitri, and sports took on a major role in his life. It might surprise you to know that Dimitri is also a trained bartender and loves to make special concoctions for his friends while entertaining.

Where were you born? Tell me a little about where you grew up.

I was born in St. Rose Hospital; Dr. van der Waag was our family physician and I think he was there at the delivery. My father's family is from Middle Region and my mom's from Cole Bay, but we lived and grew up in Middle Region, Cole Bay and Ebenezer. With two very sporty parents, I grew up in a family that was very active in sports; therefore, my future was already predetermined.

Where did you go to school? Tell me a little about your educational background.

I started school at Marie Laurence; from there I went to MPC. I received my associates at Tallahassee Community College and continued with obtaining my Bachelor's Degree at FAMU, also in Tallahassee, Florida. I was in the first group of the sister/sister agreement between St. Maarten and Tallahassee. I was hoping to be in the college baseball team, but that didn't work out, so I then chose the next best option which was to study Physical Education.

You are a physical education teacher as well as a sports instructor; please tell me something about this.

I'm a teacher at LU. I also did interviews at other schools and was lucky to have a choice, as I was accepted and offered three positions. I chose the one I did, due to the fact that I would be teaching physical education and health and be involved in the afterschool sports program, which I thought was very interesting and challenging. So far, I'm very pleased with the decision I took.

What do you perceive as especially challenging being in front of the classroom?

I find being consistent and disciplined are the most challenging. The students need this to understand you as a teacher; they will take you seriously and understand your teaching style better and therefore be better manageable.

You lived in the US while studying; how did you find this experience?

It was the best thing that ever happened to me; it opened my eyes to the world. It taught me to look further than the tip of my nose. It allowed me to understand what it is to live in someone else's country. I've become far more tolerant after this experience. On the other side, it has made me appreciate St. Maarten as well. I've seen that the entire world has challenges and we need to embrace them and work on them one at a time.

Besides working, do you have any hobbies or interests? Give us a description of a regular day in your life.

I still play softball and volleyball and I love fishing. I also coach after school; I really enjoy this, as it gives me the same rewards as teaching does. You're moulding someone and it gives you a sense of pride seeing them advance. I also love fishing; I don't get to go fishing as much as I used to, but I go both boat- and dock-fishing as often as I can.

What are your ambitions for the future? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I enjoy teaching. I hope that 10 years from now, I will have passed on and instilled my passion for sports in the young students I am teaching. I hope to have by then developed some more professional athletes and sports players in various fields. However, I am very interested in the island's politics and I can see myself being more involved with this as well 10 years from now.

Do you have any days off from work? If so, what do you do on those days?

Yes, I have the weekends off. I value my down time and spend it with my family. However, on my days off, you'll find me at the ballpark, sports auditorium, and if there is a great sports game taking place somewhere in the world, I will be watching it live on a wide screen somewhere the island.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be? What would be the one question you would ask? And what would you serve them to eat?

1) I would invite Jacky Robinson (first black major league baseball player). I'd ask him: "How was your experience breaking that barrier?" I would serve him conch and dumplings.

2) I would invite Dr. Cornel West, Professor in Philosophy at Princeton. I would ask him: "What is your philosophy on Life?" I would serve him my grandma's crab backs.

3) I would invite Professional Basket Ball Player Tim Duncan I would ask "How do you stay so humble?" For him, I would make a great piña colada which I'd prepare myself!