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Virginia Gets New Education Secretary

this week.

By Sara Beladi
|  Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011  |  Updated 11:39 AM EDT
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Virginia Gets New Education Secretary

Virginia's new secretary of education, Laura W. Fornash

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The Virginia Department of Education was shaken up last week with the appointment of a new secretary of education.

(Literally! The earth shook, remember?)

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Laura W. Fornash's appointment as education secretary last Tuesday.

"We are thrilled to be able to appoint a consummate professional and well-respected advocate for higher education to be the next leader of Virginia's education system," McDonnell said in an announcement. "We are especially pleased to have found the best candidate for this position right here in our ranks after a nationwide search."

Fornash had been serving as interim secretary since July following the departure of Gerard Robinson, who left to take on the job of education commissioner of Florida state. She previously held the title of Deputy Secretary of Education.

Fornash is also serving as the Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment.

Before joining the McDonnell administration, Fornash held several positions at Virginia Tech, the most recent being the university's director of state government relations.

The Old Dominion native received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in 1991 and her master’s degree from the school in 1998.

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