For Immediate Release: August 23, 2017

Contact: Renee Rybak Lang, renee.lang@nasbe.org, 703-740-4841

Donna Peduto Honored for Unwavering Commitment to Education in West Virginia

Alexandria, Va. – Donna Peduto of West Virginia will receive the National Association of State Boards of Education’s David Kysilko Award for her commitment to improving education in West Virginia, her service to the state board of education, and her collegial approach to state policymaking.

For five years, Peduto served as director of operations for the West Virginia State Board of Education, where she was a key adviser to board members and a liaison to the West Virginia Department of Education executive leadership, governor’s office, chairs of the legislative education committees, and other leaders and organizations around the state. While serving the board and state education agency, she drafted policy and code on such legislation as the School Innovation Zones Act and served in leadership roles in the Offices of Organizational Effectiveness, Professional Preparation, and 21st Century Leadership. She was the first West Virginia state coordinator of the state’s first Innovation Zones Initiative and was director of the 21st Century Community After School Learning Centers and Schools of Excellence. Peduto is an active member of NASBE and the National Council of State Board of Education Executives, serving as NCSBEE’s national president in 2016.

“Donna exemplifies the dedication and passion that drives the work of state boards of education,” said John-Paul Hayworth, executive director of the District of Columbia State Board of Education and current NCSBEE president. “Her tenure with the West Virginia State Board of Education serves as a reminder of the kind of positive impact state agencies can have on students. As the board’s executive director, Donna made it a priority to find the very best policies and practices to bring home to West Virginia. Her commitment to equity in education and ensuring opportunities for all students is unparalleled.”

Peduto now directs the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative, a diverse community of education leaders from across West Virginia who champion public education from early childhood to postsecondary levels. The group is dedicated to promoting stakeholder collaboration to improve public education in West Virginia and enhance learning for all citizens of the state. Peduto was among the original founders of the group and became executive director in July 2017.

Peduto has worked with national foundations and organizations such as the Stupski Foundation and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) on projects related to technology, curriculum, and innovation in schools. She is a board member of the Regional Education Lab, a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and was inducted into the June Harless Hall of Fame in May 2016.

“There are people who staff state boards of education, and then there is Donna Peduto,” said Kristen Amundson, president and CEO of NASBE. “Donna is well respected by her NCSBEE colleagues and was always a thoughtful leader on the NASBE board. Her collaborative approach to state policymaking and dedication to ensuring an excellent education for all West Virginia students through her work with the state board will not easily be forgotten.”

The 2017 David Kysilko Award will be presented Saturday, November 4, at NASBE’s national conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more about the conference.

NASBE is the only national organization giving voice and adding value to the nation’s state boards of education. A nonprofit organization founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, and ensure continued citizen support for public education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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