CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Albert Bryan has named the Virgin Islands Department of Education’s Chief Operations Officer, Dionne Wells-Hedrington, as his nominee to become the next Commissioner of Education.
Wells-Hedrington, PhD, is a lifelong educator who has served as a teacher, principal, interim superintendent and insular superintendent of schools, and she is a resident of St. John.
Citing a number of things that have impacted the department, including ongoing maintenance issues and the sudden switch to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Bryan expressed his confidence in Dr. Wells-Hedrington to move the department forward.
“Throughout those challenges, over and over again, the Department of Education has risen,” the Governor said.
“Today I am happy to introduce to you today a new Commissioner of Education, one that has been at every single level of education of the Virgin Islands Department of Education,” Governor Bryan said. “I think today we have a commissioner that takes on a department with good experience, well-wrought education and a deep, deep passion for the children of the Virgin Islands.”
During the press conference with Governor Bryan to announce her nomination, Wells-Hedrington thanked the men and women who work for the Department of Education for their dedication to ensure that the children of the Territory receive a quality education.
“I am public school proud. I am a product of the public school system. I stand proudly before you all to pledge my commitment to the people of these Virgin Islands to build back the trust in public education,” Commissioner Nominee Wells-Hedrington said.
She also acknowledged that there is work to be done within the department, but she also expressed confidence in the employees of the Department of Education to meet the task ahead of them.
“I’m confident that as we continue to build the relationships between internal and external stakeholders, putting aside our personal differences and remembering why we are here, and that is to serve our children, then I am confident that VIDE will work toward reforming, rebuilding and rebranding public education in the Virgin Islands,” Wells-Hedrington said.
The commissioner nominee has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Master’s degree in Education Supervision and Instruction, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, according to Government House.
Wells-Hedrington’s nomination will next go before the Legislature of the Virgin Islands for approval.