Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin has announced the appointment of Victor Somme III, former deputy superintendent in the St. Croix District, as the Virgin Islands Department of Education’s new assistant commissioner.
In an email to employees on Feb. 4, Berry-Benjamin said she has “every confidence in Mr. Somme’s capabilities and the fresh ideas he will bring to the Office of the Assistant Commissioner.” She added, “I look forward to working closely with him in the best interests of our students.”
Somme’s appointment comes nearly two months after the passing of Maria Encarnacion, who held the assistant commissioner position from early 2019 until her death on Dec. 21. She was employed with the Department of Education for more than four decades.
As assistant commissioner, Somme’s primary responsibility is to oversee the department’s State Office of Curriculum and Instruction.
“I am ecstatic to move into the role of assistant commissioner because this affords me the opportunity to reinvigorate and drive curriculum as the heart of the Virgin Islands Department of Education,” Somme said.
Somme has been employed with the Department of Education for 20 years—spending 13 of those at the helm of the St. Croix Alternative Education Program and seven as a teacher at John H. Woodson Jr. High School. He served as the St. Croix District’s deputy superintendent from January 2019 until his February 2020 appointment as assistant commissioner.