Virginia Senate Education & Health and House Education Committees Convene for Annual Education Summit

December 6, 2019

Fairfax, Va.– Sen. Steve Newman, chairman of the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee,
and Del. Richard Bell, vice chairman of the Virginia House of Delegates Education Committee, in partnership with The Hunt Institute, will convene members of the Virginia Senate & House Education Committees for the fifth annual Virginia Education Summit.

Kicking off Monday at George Mason University and ending Tuesday afternoon at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus, the Virginia Education Summit will include a wide range of education topics, including early childhood quality and access, classroom technology and innovation, teacher preparation and compensation, broadband infrastructure and postsecondary completion, access and affordability. The Summit will give legislators the opportunities to engage with resource experts and one another on leading issues that impact education in the Commonwealth.

“The Virginia Education Summit provides us the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the education issues we face in the Commonwealth as well as explore policy solutions that improve outcomes for all students.” said Sen. Newman, who serves as chairman of the Education & Health Committee. “We appreciate the continued partnership with The Hunt Institute and look forward to the time together.”

Chairman and CEO of America Achieves, Jon Schnur, will provide Monday evening remarks, focusing on the importance of postsecondary goals and best practices that help students attain the degrees and credentials necessary for workforce readiness.

Following educator-centered policy discussions, legislators will engage with principals and superintendents to get an on-the-ground perspective of how policies impact their work in recruiting teachers, especially in hard-to-staff positions.

“While the Commonwealth is making great strides in education, there’s much work to be done in order to support all students across the state,” said Del. Bell. “I’m pleased that this Summit will provide the platform to expand on these critical conversations.”

Sen. Louise Lucas added: “I appreciate this opportunity to learn from and connect with leading minds in education policy and research as well as talk with some of our state’s district and school leaders. It’s important that we, as legislators, have a more complete picture of education in the Commonwealth and what work needs to be done in order to move our state forward.”   

The Summit will feature remarks from Sen. Newman, Del. Bell, First Lady Pamela Northam and George Mason University Interim President Anne Holton. Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni and several former Virginia Secretaries of Education, including Laura Fornash, Dr. Dietra Trent and The Hunt Institute’s President & CEO Javaid Siddiqi, will also serve as important voices throughout the Summit.

“In order to improve education outcomes for students, legislators must take the lead,” said Dr. Siddiqi. “We appreciate the continued leadership from Sen. Newman and from the Commonwealth’s legislators, including this year’s co-chair Del. Bell, who continue to participate in constructive dialogue about the critical education issues facing the state.”

During panel discussions and small group conversations, legislators will hear from the following national and state resource experts and school leaders:

  • Rosa Atkins, Superintendent, Charlottesville City Public Schools
  • Peter Blake, Director, State Council for Higher Education in Virginia
  • Eric Bond, Superintendent, Augusta County Public Schools
  • John R. Broderick, President, Old Dominion University
  • Peggy Brookins, President & CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Kelly Chopus, President and CEO, Robins Foundation
  • Jenna Conway, Chief School Readiness Officer, Office of the Governor
  • Evan Feinman, Chief Broadband Advisor, Office of the Governor of Virginia, Executive Director, Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
  • Mark Ginsberg, Dean, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University
  • John B. Gordon III, Superintendent, Suffolk City Public Schools
  • Shawn Green, Principal, Colonel Fred Cherry Middle School, Suffolk City Public Schools
  • Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Superintendent, Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Sandi Jacobs, Principal, EducationCounsel
  • Erin Kershner, Principal, Venable Elementary School, Charlottesville City Public Schools
  • Larry Landes, Principal, Fort Defiance High School, Augusta County Public Schools
  • James Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia Department of Education
  • Michelle Marks, Vice President for Academic Innovation & New Ventures, George Mason University
  • Josh McGee, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Marica Cox Mitchell, Director, Early Learning, Bainum Family Foundation
  • Rene Paschal, Principal, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Maria Pitre-Martin, Superintendent, Petersburg City Public Schools
  • Kristie Proctor, Executive Director, Virginia Rural Center
  • Dietra Trent, Chief of Staff, Office of the President, George Mason University
  • Belinda Urquhart, Principal, Walnut Hill Elementary School, Petersburg City Public Schools
  • Mamie Voight, Vice President of Policy Research, Institute for Higher Education Policy
  • Maria Worthen, Vice President for State and Federal Policy, Aurora Institute

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