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Governor Appoints ODU’s John Nunnery to Opportunity Educational Institution Board

Photo of John NunneryJohn Nunnery

Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Old Dominion University's John Nunnery to the Opportunity Educational Institution board on Tuesday, Oct. 15. The board will begin immediately to oversee the OEI.

Created through legislation passed during the 2013 General Assembly session, the OEI will focus on turning around chronically failing or underperforming public elementary or secondary schools in the commonwealth to provide a high-quality education for children.

Nunnery, who is executive director of the ODU Center for Educational Partnerships, is an expert in school restructuring and reform, educational evaluation, testing and measurement, strategic planning and accountability. He was one of five gubernatorial appointments to the OEI board.

Also appointed were Lisa Goeas of Alexandria, vice president of the Political and Grassroots Program, National Federation of Independent Business; Julia Ciarlo Hammond of Richmond, director of legislative affairs and policy advisor, Office of the Governor; Doug Mesecar of Aldie, founder of Adeptio Education and former deputy chief of staff and assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Innovation and Improvement for the U.S. Department of Education; and Anne S. O'Toole of Manakin-Sabot, retired principal for Chesterfield County Public Schools and educational consultant.

"The Opportunity Educational Institution board brings together top K-12 education reform leaders in Virginia with passionate education advocates in state government," McDonnell said. "These leaders will work to ensure all Virginia children have access to a high-quality education, and they are going to get to work right away.

"If a single Virginia school is allowed to continue to fail, resulting in students being denied a high-quality education, then we are not doing our constitutional duty. That is unacceptable. The status quo is no longer OK, and the leaders on the OEI board will be critical to the bipartisan effort to ensure that every child in the commonwealth goes to a high-quality school and gets a world-class education."

Sen. Ryan McDougle added, "These appointees possess the depth and breadth of experience needed to guide the Opportunity Educational Institution on its critical mission of reforming and revitalizing chronically failing schools. The commonwealth is very fortunate to have qualified individuals of this caliber willing to serve on the OEI board as it begins the arduous and challenging process of ensuring every child in Virginia gets to attend a great school."

Former Virginia Secretary of Education Jim Dyke noted, "I am confident the OEI board will provide expert leadership for Virginia's children. The board is well positioned to oversee the turnaround of failing schools and remain laser focused on the best interest of children. As former secretary of education, I have been long focused on the state having the ability to intervene in failing schools. I am glad to see the OEI board complete and begin the urgent work of making sure students have access to a quality education, as required by our constitution."

Nunnery holds an Ed.D. from the University of Memphis in educational psychology and research, in addition to degrees from Rhodes College and Memphis State University. His previous appointments include director of the Bureau of Educational Research and Services at the University of Memphis; associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University; and executive director of research, standards and accountability for Memphis City Schools. He has served two terms as president of the Comprehensive School Reform Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.

The OEI board is composed of nine appointed members and ex officio members: two members of the House of Delegates, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; two members of the Senate, appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; one nonlegislative citizen member who shall have experience with the turnaround of failing schools; one nonlegislative citizen member who shall be a former teacher, former principal, or former superintendent; and, three nonlegislative citizen members who shall be citizens at large, to be appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. The secretary of education or his designee and the executive director of the Institution shall serve ex officio with nonvoting privileges.