W.Va. School Superintendent Steps Into National Role

April 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) welcomes West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine as the organization’s board president. He has served as West Virginia's 25th state superintendent of schools since July 1, 2005. Paine replaces CCSSO Board President Sue Gendron, commissioner of education in Maine, who will officially step down April 30 to serve as a policy director for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of more than 35 states working to develop common assessments and to compete for a share of $350 million in federal Race to the Top education reform funds. Paine has served as president-elect of the organization since November 2009.

“Our nation’s chief state school officers are facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” Paine said. “I am honored to lead the chiefs through taking action to adopt and implement the common core state standards, engaging in the emerging discussions around assessment, supporting the next generation of students and educational leaders, and appropriately overseeing the utilization and application of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.”

Under Paine's leadership, West Virginia has been internationally and nationally recognized for its 21st century learning program called Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it. The state also has been singled out for its work with pre-K programs, school technology implementation, school leadership development programs, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts.

Led by Paine, West Virginia is deeply engaged in systemically transforming its public school system with the goal of providing all West Virginia children the skills that will enable them to excel in a fiercely competitive global world. West Virginia's Global21 program is focused on the development of internationally rigorous and relevant curriculum standards; a balanced assessment strategy; research-based instructional practices; a parallel accountability system; aligned teacher preparation programs; development of a 21st century leadership continuum; emphasis on pre-K programs; and integration of technology tools and skills in every classroom.

Paine joined the West Virginia Department of Education in 2003 as deputy state superintendent of schools after serving as Morgan County's superintendent. He also has served as principal, assistant principal, teacher and curriculum director in Upshur and Harrison counties. As a result of his work as a principal, he was named a recipient of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.

In addition to Paine’s leadership in CCSSO, he is active in national education policy discussions as a member of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) Board of Directors and as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

Paine earned his undergraduate degree from Fairmont State College. He furthered his education at West Virginia University, where he received his master’s in educational administration and his doctorate in educational leadership.

“Superintendent Paine has been a dynamic and innovative leader for the state of West Virginia,” said CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit. “Our members will benefit greatly from Steve’s leadership as the chiefs continue to work through the challenges of our current educational climate. Under Steve’s leadership, his peers from across the nation will continue to collectively transform education in the United States.”

As president of CCSSO, Paine will continue to champion the council’s focus on building an enhanced state/federal partnership between state education agencies and the U.S. Department of Education. Paine will spend his term as president ensuring chief state school officers are focused on the key leverage points of education reform through the council’s strategic initiatives: Education Workforce; Information Systems and Research; Next Generation Learners; and Standards, Assessment and Accountability.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.