Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos traveled to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to observe the recovery and rebuilding efforts firsthand and to discuss with local leaders how the Department of Education can best assist in those efforts.
"My heart goes out to those in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who have had their lives upended by the recent hurricanes," said Secretary DeVos. "There is certainly a long road to recovery ahead, but seeing the rebuilding efforts in person today was truly inspiring. The dedication shown by educators, administrators and local leaders to getting students back in the classroom, and their lives back to normal, was evident at each stop. The U.S. Department of Education will continue to assist them in every way we can."
While in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Secretary DeVos toured a public elementary school and met with local officials including Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Secretary of Education Julia Keleher and K-12 and higher education leaders to discuss the state of the recovery efforts.
After leaving Puerto Rico, Secretary DeVos traveled to St. Thomas to meet with Governor Kenneth Mapp and representatives from both the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) and the St. Thomas School District. She also toured a public high school with St. Thomas/St. John School District Deputy Superintendent Racquel Berry-Benjamin and participated in a small group discussion with Charlotte Amalie High School's principal, teachers and students.
The final stop took place at The University of the Virgin Islands with university President Dr. David Hall. Secretary DeVos participated in a roundtable session with Dr. Hall, university leadership and students to discuss their needs and the challenges that lay ahead of them in the recovery process.