April 18, 2008 — LaVerne Terry was finally and officially sworn in Friday as the Virgin Islands new Education Commissioner and cabinet member.
Terry was sworn-in before a standing room only crowd in a Government House ceremony. Terrys brother, sister-in-law and Ph.D candidate nephew flew in to the territory to attend the ceremony.
This is one of the best days of 2008 for me, Gov. John deJongh Jr. told the standing room only crowd at Government House.
DeJongh lauded Terrys understanding of the difficulties of administration and in particular her understanding of the challenges of special education. He also praised Terrys philosophy that educational success is dependent upon parental involvement.
The governor joked that during the first of two interviews with Terry, he had glossed over challenging-sounding issues in the Education Department, but that by the second interview, Terry confronted him with research shed done on the department. At that point, the governor said, he turned the negotiations over to Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis to close the deal with Terry.
Master of ceremonies Jean Greaux Jr. lauded the commissioners record in Christina, Del., and Hartford, Conn., where Terry served before coming to the Virgin Islands.
Terry brings nearly 30 years of experience in education and education administration to the table. Her experience began in the elementary classroom, includes teaching special education, as well as serving as teacher, curriculum supervisor, assistant principal and principal at the middle and high schools level.
In Delaware, Terry was the assistant superintendent and chief academic officer in the states largest school system, comparable in size to that of the Virgin Islands.
Terry earned a masters in special education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Delaware.
Francis told the audience that based on her experience, the administrations expectations of her was very high.
DeJongh concurred and presented Terry with a specially printed copy of her remarks before the Senates confirmation of her appointment, joking that he planned to refer to these remarks when it came time to give her a job evaluation.
Terry has been acting commissioner since December 2007. The Senate approved her nomination 11-4 on March 18. (See "Senate Approves LaVerne Terry as Education Commissioner.")
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