Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright announced on Tuesday that she will retire on May 1 after serving six years in the state’s top education job and nearly three decades with the state’s Education Department. In 2008, Wright was appointed by former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, and reappointed two years later by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell. In a statement, Wright said, “It has been a great honor to serve as state superintendent and collaborate with so many outstanding educators across the commonwealth.”
Wright taught mathematics for 10 years at the secondary and middle school levels in Sussex and Chesterfield Counties before joining the state agency in 1985. Now a veteran employee at the Department of Education, Wright has administered some of the most significant reforms of former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration targeted at K-12 education, including expanded access to charter and virtual schools, implementing an A-F grading system and the state’s Standards of Learning tests and creating a statewide school division to take over failing schools.
A replacement must be appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and confirmed by the General Assembly.