Fernandez elected to full term on Council of Chief State School Officers board

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez (file photo)

Guam Department of Education (GDOE) Superintendent Jon Fernandez, who serves as the island’s Chief State School Officer, has been elected to a two-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

His election took place at the Annual Policy Forum hosted by CCSSO in Orlando, Florida. Back in August, Fernandez was appointed by the Board to fill the unexpired term previously held by former Hawaii Chief State School Officer Christina Kishimoto. Now in his tenth year, Fernandez is the longest currently serving member of the CCSSO and is now the first Chief State School Officer from Guam to be elected to the Board.

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“It is an honor to serve on the CCSSO Board of Directors, and I am greatly humbled to have been elected by my colleagues to be a voice for our schools as we continue our recovery from today’s challenges,” said Fernandez. “I am inspired by the great work being done by our state leaders all across our country to keep the focus on teaching and learning, despite this pandemic, and I look forward to sharing the perspective and solutions of our Pacific community as we work together to emerge on the other side of this stronger and more hopeful than ever.”

In addition to Fernandez’s election as Director, CCSSO members also elected Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent of Education, North Dakota, to serve as President-Elect; Penny Schwinn, Commissioner of Education, Tennessee, as a Director (3-year term); and Dan French, Secretary of Education, Vermont, as a Director (3-year term). They will join continuing board members Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, South Carolina (President); Matthew Blomstedt, Commissioner of Education, Nebraska (Past President); Katy Anthes, Commissioner of Education, Colorado (Director); Michael Johnson, Commissioner of Education, Alaska (Director); and James Lane, State Superintendent of Education, Virginia (Director).

The Board of Directors manages the overall business affairs of the Council and is the governing body of the organization, composed of the president, the president-elect, the past president, and six directors elected by the members from the CCSSO membership.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions.

CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.