Gov. Matt Bevin has designated four non-voting, non-member advisers to the Kentucky Board of Education, state education officials said Monday night.
On Friday, Bevin issued an executive order that reorganized several key education boards and committees in Kentucky in an effort, he said, to bring better coordination across the state’s education system.
According to a statement from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the new non-voting advisers are:
▪ Tracey Cusick of Union, a parent of 10 children, who is engaged in community and education organizations. Cusick has an associate’s degree in applied science from the State University of New York’s Health Science Center in Syracuse.
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▪ Kathy Gornik of Lexington, co-founder and president of Thiel Audio, and chairman of Newton’s Attic, a nonprofit educational organization focused on inspiring young people to pursue engineering, robotics and physics. Gornik has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton.
▪ Wayne Lewis of Versailles, an associate professor of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky, and the executive director of education policy and programs for the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Lewis has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University New Orleans, a master’s degree from the University of Akron, a teaching certificate from the University of New Orleans, and a doctorate from North Carolina State University.
Lewis confirmed Tuesday that in 2011, before Lewis and Kentucky Education and Workforce Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner joined the Cabinet, they founded the non-profit Kentucky Charter School Association with the intent of passing a law allowing charter schools. Lewis said he resigned from the charter school association in January 2016 before he joined the Cabinet and that Heiner had resigned from the association before joining the Cabinet.
▪ Joe Papalia of Louisville, an entrepreneur and executive with engineering, manufacturing and sales experience. Papalia has a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
The Kentucky Board of Education has 12 members. The governor appoints 11 voting members, seven representing the Supreme Court districts and four representing the state at-large, stateEducation Department spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez said. The 11 voting members must be confirmed by the legislature. An additional member, the president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, is a non-voting member.
Last week, Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt and Kentucky Board of Education chairman William Twyman said they looked forward to working with the new advisers. The Kentucky Board of Education has its regular meeting Wednesday in Frankfort.