Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash will step down from her role to take a job at the University of Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday.
Fornash will depart the administration in mid-November to work as executive assistant to the president for state government relations with the University of Virginia.
McDonnell praised Fornash for her work as a member of his cabinet in the news release announcing her departure.
“We ran for this office on a promise to bring innovation and fresh-thinking to public education in the commonwealth,” he said. “That’s exactly what Secretary Fornash has helped us to achieve. Today, the average teacher salary in Virginia is now greater than the national average. We’ve increased the percentage of K-12 funding that is going to the classroom from 62 percent to 64 percent. The statewide dropout rate has fallen by more than 25 percent over the last five years.”
McDonnell called Fornash’s move a “logical next step for someone with her record of results, and her vision for the future of education.”
Before joining the McDonnell administration, Fornash spent 20 years with Virginia Tech in a number of different divisions including student affairs, continuing education, distance learning and government relations.
McDonnell said he would make an announcement regarding Fornash’s successor in the months ahead.