Feb. 2, 2006 – In an emergency meeting Wednesday night, the V.I. Board of Education voted to accept the resignation of its executive director Tregenza Roach. The vote was 7-1 with board member Shawn Gibson opposed. Roach, who had held the post since 2003, surprised the board with his resignation on Monday. It takes effect in two weeks.
The emergency meeting was called to discuss the sudden resignation. All board members thanked Roach for his service to the board, but the reasons behind his departure remain unclear. Radio One (AM 1000) quoted unnamed sources Wednesday as saying that Roach and board chairwoman Judy Gomez had clashed in recent times. Other sources suggested that the board had become increasingly frustrated with the pace of the teacher certification process.
Former legal counsel to the Department of Education, Roach said after the meeting his reasons for resigning were "personal." He said the members asked if he would reconsider but "I told them this was a final decision and that it was important for me to make this decision without delay."
Persons close to Roach said he had reached a point where he made a decision to move on with his career. Roach said in other comments after the meeting that his time at the helm of the board has been rewarding as he worked to try to make education better for the children of the Virgin Islands.
Roach replaced Evadney Hodge who retired.
In recent years, the board has been fraught with infighting between members and staff. The ousting of former chairman Jorge "Tito" Galiber, his suit against the board, and his successful re-election bid for a position on the board have been factors in the unsettled atmosphere at the agency.
The nine-member Board of Education took office last year but by August board member Nereida O'Reilly had resigned and moved to the U.S. mainland.
Repeated calls by the Source to Roach and Gomez prior to Wednesday night's meeting were not returned.
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