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Thursday, October 6, 2022
HomeNewsLocal newsBryan Taps Berry-Benjamin for Education, Pledges $2 Million Toward Apprenticeships

Bryan Taps Berry-Benjamin for Education, Pledges $2 Million Toward Apprenticeships

Bryan named former St. Thomas-St. John deputy superintendent Racquel Berry-Benjamin, seen here at teh State of the Territory address, to lead the Education Department. (Photo by Barry Leerdam)
Bryan named former St. Thomas-St. John deputy superintendent Racquel Berry-Benjamin, seen here at teh State of the Territory address, to lead the Education Department. (Photo by Barry Leerdam)

In sharing his plans to build an educational system that he said will guide children from preschool to the first years of their career, Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr. announced Monday his nomination of former St. Thomas-St. John deputy superintendent Racquel Berry-Benjamin to lead the Education Department.

A former Labor commissioner, Bryan shared in his first State of the Territory address how the two departments – combined with the University of the Virgin Islands and Career and Technical Board – can partner to develop a pipeline that feeds right into the territory’s workforce.

“The key to this success, however, is continuing our focus on early childhood education,” the governor said. “The expansion of the education system to include K-4, which has been mandated by law, is far overdue. That is the foundation of this pipeline. It is our goal to expand this program into as many schools as it takes to ensure access to every four-year-old in the territory.”

Retooling the territory’s career and technical education programs and systems comes next, and Bryan said the goal is to produce technically trained workers who are nationally certified.

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“We are dedicating $2 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds specifically to apprenticeships and national certification programs,” the governor announced.

Government contractors will then be asked to tap into this pool and train young adults in specific areas, he added.

The current state of the Education system, which, among other things, is running on many sites through modular classrooms, makes realizing these goals difficult, but Bryan said the first goal is to make sure students are in safe facilities before moving forward with rebuilding permanent ones.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. OMG! What a mistake!!!This woman has no teaching skills, no years experiences in the trenches and she is the general in this army. God help the teachers, students and system. I am sooooo disappointed in this governor. He has been played and fooled by his advisors. Couldn’t he have looked past his front door to find someone more capable? Unbelievable!

  2. I am very aware of her experience, attitude, heritage and performance. She is a very smart, progressive, young woman with many talents but heading a department that has been run for years by a dictatorship of administrators is no place for an amateur. She is reactive and takes things personally when confronted. You have to be thick- skinned and focused not ego driven and heartless when working with teachers and administrators. Delegating is what most leaders do but she should remember when you delegate the people under you , you must come from a point of reference in order to understand your subordinates or you will sink and sink fast.

    I suppose as an advisor to the governor and a victim of the past administration she knows how to play the game. I suggest she not use the teachers, administrators and children of the Virgin Islands as her pawn for revenge or she will definitely fail. Staying focus, being compassionate and leading through example should be her moro. I wish her luck because she will need it.

  3. Not one single word in the entire article about the topic. No mention of her education, training, certificates, classroom experience, administration experience, operational experience, budget and personnel management qualifications, etc. Not one word about Ms. Berry-Benjamin herself.

    PS: remember those two words:
    QUALIFICATIONS
    COMPETENCY
    apply them wisely

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