CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Faced with enacting wide-ranging school reform measures to address concerns in the governor’s education efficiency audit, the state Board of Education calls the hiring of an operations director essential.
During their March meeting, state board members named Donna Peduto as their director of operations to serve as the board’s liaison to the governor’s office, the Legislature and the West Virginia Department of Education. Peduto, a teaching veteran with 25 years experience in the classroom, has worked since last year aiding the board with its response to the audit, “From Audit to Action: Students First.”
“This is a critical time for education in West Virginia,” said state Board of Education President Wade Linger. “The state board is comprised of volunteers who have regular jobs in communities across the state. As we collaborate with Gov. Tomblin, the Legislature, the state superintendent, educators, parents and others, it is important that we have someone who can keep board members informed and address day-to-day issues. Having someone working on the board’s behalf daily well help us better serve the needs of students.”
The West Virginia Board of Education is not alone in choosing to hire a director of operations. The California Board of Education has an executive director and a deputy executive director, as well as policy and program consultants and its own legal advisers. Similarly, the Colorado Board of Education employs a director of state board relations.
In addition to classroom experience, as the board’s liaison, Peduto has worked with the entities under the state Board of Education oversight, including the Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs), Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA), the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind and Institutional Education Programs.
While at the state Department of Education, she oversaw the Innovation Zones program and worked directly with low-performing schools to improve student performance. On the national level, she has expanded her project management experience as the director of the Innovation Lab Network at the Stupski Foundation in San Francisco. While there, she established a national network of six high schools in various states to incubate innovative practices to elevate student ownership through personalized learning.
“My experience with working in public schools, non-profit foundations, grant-making foundations, operating foundations, local and state level organizations, and leaders at all levels will allow me to provide the state board with a balanced and global perspective,” Peduto said. “I thank the board for its confidence in me. The state board’s unwavering commitment and dedication to the students and educators of West Virginia creates a transformative culture in our state. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.