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Oaktree Medical Center and Red-line Athletics Pay Homage to Principal Sonja Knowles

It is always a pleasure when SAC graduates ‘come home’ and pay us a visit.

Today, we were joined by Dr. Don Diego Deveaux, nephrologist, and proprietor of Oaktree Medical Center, and his wife, Kristi-Marche-Deveaux ’01, who is the CEO.

They were accompanied by Mr. Karlos Mackey ’02, who serves as a consultant for Oaktree Medical Center, Mrs. Samantha Fox ’91, who is their legal counsel. and Mrs. Elizabeth Longley (nee Rodgers) ’01, who is the human resources director.

Dr. Deveaux shared his remarkable story of overcoming challenges that he was faced to graduate from SAC on the honor roll. He was expelled from what is now Charles W. Saunders High School, and by grace, was accepted into SAC to enter the eighth grade. He missed school constantly because of unpaid school fees, and relied on his best friend, Karlos Mackey, to bring work to him and hand in assignments for him.

“I was not there in person, but I was there in spirit, the SAC spirit,” said Dr. Deveaux.

He also had teachers, such as Sister Noella, who advocated for him to get a scholarship to finish the tenth grade.

Mackey, who also spoke to the grade 7 class, recalls Dr. Deveaux being an inspiration to him. “I had to be on top of my game because how would I look handing in somebody who wasn’t to school’s homework [and mine wasn’t done],” he said.

Mrs. Marche-Deveaux said that being back on campus “feels surreal. It brings me back full circle because SAC was a pillar of my development into an adult. To be back on campus is an honor and a pleasure.”

Mrs. Elizabeth Longley expressed similar sentiments that being at SAC today made her feel warm inside. “It brings back memories of being dropped off to school and going to the library. All my family went to SAC, so this is generational for me. I feel proud to be a SAC alum,” she said.

Culminating the visit was a $15,000 donation from Oaktree Medical Center to Red-line Athletics Track Club, which is owned by Mr. Tito Moss ’92 and his wife Mrs. Nekera Moss. The donation will be used for club activities such as the 2nd Annual Sonja Knowles Red-Line Track Classic, of which Oaktree is the title sponsor.

Dr. Deveaux saw this donation as “an opportunity to pay homage to [Ms. Knowles], who dedicated her entire life [to SAC]. She has been affiliated with the institution for 40 plus years and this is our way of saying thank you very much.”

Mr. and Mrs. Moss were joined by Red-line athletics coaches Earl Rahming, Rachante Colebroke and Khyle Higgs, all graduates of SAC, as well as coach Michael Armbrister.

“Ms. Knowles is my principal. I’m in the first graduating class, class of ’92, after she became principal. I’m proud to say that,” said Mr. Moss.

He also said that the annual track meet will be named in Sonja Knowles’ honor hereafter.

St. Augustine’s College is ‘SAC proud’ of our graduates and are grateful that we were able to make such an impact in their lives.

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