Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fallin Names Phyllis Hudecki Education Secretary

Governor-elect Mary Fallin today announced the selection of Dr. Phyllis Hudecki to serve as secretary of education.

Hudecki is the the executive director of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition, a business-lead coalition working to improve and strengthen education in Oklahoma.

OBEC has partnered with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education on several initiatives aimed at systemic reform of education in Oklahoma. It also partnered with legislative leaders and Governor Brad Henry in designing and enacting Achieving Classroom Excellence legislation, or ACE, which raised standards and increased the requirements to receive a high school diploma.

“Phyllis is one of the leading education-policy minds in Oklahoma and in the nation,” said Fallin. “She understands that providing each and every child a good education isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Good schools, good universities and a skilled, educated workforce make up the long term foundation of sustained economic growth and prosperity, and Phyllis is committed to working with Superintendent-elect Barresi to deliver strong, effective educational institutions here in Oklahoma.”

State Superintendent-elect Janet Barresi, who attended a press conference announcing Hudecki’s selection, said she was looking forward to working with both Fallin and Hudecki.

"As I emphasized during my campaign, now is the time for comprehensive reforms to prepare Oklahoma's children for the 21st Century. Oklahoma's citizens delivered a mandate for change three weeks ago," said Barresi. "We must fundamentally rethink what we're doing and pursue reforms that ensure a quality education for every child in Oklahoma. Dr. Hudecki brings a wealth of experience to her new role. I look forward to working with her and Governor-elect Fallin, lawmakers, administrators, parents and teachers on the common sense solutions that will make our school system more efficient, more accountable and focused on children's success."

Prior to assuming her role with OBEC in 2000, Hudecki served as the associate director of the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at the University of California-Berkeley. Her career also includes positions with the Iowa, Missouri, and Massachusetts state departments of education as well as the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC.

Hudecki started her career as a teacher and has served as an assistant principal at a technical high school in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her doctorate of education and baccalaureate in education from OSU.

Hudecki has been named one of the Fifty Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma and is an inductee in the Hall of Fame at Oklahoma State University’s College of Human Environmental Sciences. She is the 2010-2011 chair of the OSU Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Council and a member of the OSU Foundation Board of Governors.

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