WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia — Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina was elected the Chair of the Southern Regional Education Board today at its Annual Meeting in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
She will succeed West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, who was recognized at the meeting for his service as the SREB Chair since 2009. With 16 member states from Texas to Delaware, SREB works to improve pre-K-12 and higher education and student achievement across the region.
Perdue became North Carolina’s governor and a member of the Southern Regional Education Board in 2009. In January 2010, she launched the state’s Career and College - Ready, Set, Go! education agenda to prepare every student to be college- or career-ready after graduating from high school. Drawing on her experience as a former teacher and having earned a doctorate from the University of Florida in education, Governor Perdue also is working to transform North Carolina classrooms through increased technology and a statewide online school initiative.
As the Chair of SREB’s 80-member Board, Governor Perdue plans to urge states to prepare more students for college and career training and to raise college degree-completion rates. Only a little more than half of first-time, full-time freshmen in four-year public colleges and universities graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years nationally and in the SREB region.
Governor Perdue and other state leaders discussed actions states and colleges can take to increase the number of the South’s residents who earn two- and four-year degrees and career certificates — which will strengthen the work force and help rebuild state economies.
Mark E. Emblidge, director and affiliate professor of The Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, was re-elected the Vice Chair of SREB. Emblidge joined the SREB Board in 2004 and is a former Chair and President of the Virginia State Board of Education.
State Senator Jack Gordon of Mississippi was re-elected the Treasurer of the Board. Gordon’s association with SREB since 1981 includes service on the Board and on the SREB Legislative Advisory Council, the largest standing advisory group to the Board.
The Southern Regional Education Board, or SREB, based in Atlanta, was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. More information is available online at www.sreb.org.