May 29, 2005 Feisty and full of life, St. John resident Alecia M. Wells leaves less energetic folks in her wake as she dashes through her busy life.
"But sometimes I stop and say I'm not going to do anything today," she said.
She said she's fond of taking a good book and a basket with grapes and cheese to her favorite Hawksnest Beach for an afternoon of relaxation.
She said she also uses her time on the ferry to St. Thomas to mediate, which she said keeps her energy flowing.
Wells commutes daily from St. John to the Education Department's Curriculum Center, where she works as the program manager in the department's vocational and technical education program.
She spends a lot of additional time on her native St. Thomas thanks to her membership on a list of boards and commissions as long as her arm.
Voters twice sent her to serve on the Board of Elections, a position she continues to hold. She's in her fourth term on the Public Services Commission, a post that put her on the telecommunications and international relations committees of the National Association of Regulatory Utilities.
She's a founding member of the St. John Community Foundation, a past state president of the Business and Professional Women, a member of the Red Cross, serves on boards at St. Ursula's Episcopal Church, is the public relations person for the St. John Festival and Cultural Organization, and is on a number of other committees.
She moved to St. John in the late 1970s after marrying the late Winston Wells, who died in 1991 and whose name graces the ballfield adjacent to Julius E. Sprauve School. The two ran the Old Gallery Restaurant in Cruz Bay for seven years, but Wells said that after her husband died, it was too much to manage and still commute to St. Thomas.
Wells has four children and two grandchildren. Her daughters Camela Francis, 32, and Armecia Martin, 30, live on St. Thomas. Daughter Chasmaine Alexander, 28, is in Baltimore, and her son, DeJongh Wells, 32, lives in Worcester, Mass. She has two grandchildren, Nikoya, 2, on St. Thomas, and Cyana, 7, in Worcester.
Wells said that while she likes to travel and has been to just about all the states as well as Cuba and Senegal. Worcester is her favorite place to visit.
The daughter of Ellen Pickering and the late Charles Frett, both born on Tortola, Wells grew up on St. Thomas. She graduated from All Saints School, heading off to Providence, R. I. for a bachelor's degree in business administration and secretarial services.
She honed her activist teeth while working at Model Cities in the South Bronx, N. Y., and Bridgeport, Conn., Model Cities was the first federally-funded affordable housing community. She then went off to work in New Orleans where she helped tenants in an affordable housing complex learn home ownership skills.
Wells came home to work for the local Law Department, now the Justice Department, for a year before starting her career at the Education Department. She said she taught business classes at Bertha C. Boschulte Junior High School as well as Eudora Kean and Charlotte Amalie High Schools before former Gov. Roy L. Schneider appointed her deputy superintendent in 1997.
She's since moved to her current job, but hopes that when she retires in the not too distant future, she can segue right into selling real estate. She's already taken a class in real estate sales.
Wells said the job interests her because she thinks those born in the Virgin Islands should make money selling their land instead of the money going to others.
She's also considering law school.
"And I'd also like to win the lottery, so send me the right combination," she said, laughing.
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