Assistant Education Commissioner Maria Encarnacion died Saturday, Dec. 21, after a brief illness, the V.I. Department of Education reported.
In an email message to employees Saturday evening, Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin expressed her sorrow at the news of Encarnacion’s passing.
“We are deeply saddened, and our hearts are heavy,” Berry-Benjamin said. “Words cannot adequately express what Ms. Encarnacion has meant to the St. Croix District, the Department of Education, and to me personally. We send our love to her vast family, and personal and professional circles. The Department of Education will not be the same without Ms. Encarnacion, a consummate educational leader and our friend. She will be profoundly missed.”
Encarnacion had worked at the Department of Education for almost four decades, serving in a range of capacities, including elementary teacher, assistant principal, principal, deputy superintendent, and district director of curriculum and instruction. She was appointed assistant commissioner under the Bryan Administration.
Encarnacion attended St. Joseph High School and studied elementary education at the College of the Virgin Islands, both on St. Croix.
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.