Jillian Balow on Thursday announced her resignation as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Wyoming to take a similar position in Virginia at the request of the state’s governor-elect.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to announce that Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has asked me to serve as Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction,” she said in a Jan. 13 statement. “With a focused drive to lead on the front lines of education transformation in this country, I have accepted. Therefore, I announce my resignation from the office of Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction.”
Balow has served as State Superintendent for the past seven years, an experience she referred to as the greatest honor and challenge of her life.
Her teaching career began in the small town of Hulett, Wyoming, which served as the foundation of a 25-year career in education and politics serving as a national literacy consultant, a state government executive, policy advisor for the governor, and the elected State Superintendent.
During her time in Wyoming, she reportedly strove to prioritize the voices of parents and encouraged them to get involved in policy-making decisions.
Additionally, she advocated for the passage of Computer Science education requirements for K-12 public schools, advocated for school choice, and supported state legislation to increase the opportunity for charter schools to form in Wyoming.
“And when it comes to politics in the classroom, I’ve made my position crystal clear that partisan politics and radical theories should not be forced upon our children,” she said in a statement.
Of her decision to leave her role in Wyoming Virginia, she said that the educational goals in Virginia place the state on the cutting edge of the battle for the future of public education, which is where she wants to be as she fights to restore parental voices in education and to eliminate political ideology from the classroom.
She anticipates that her efforts will set a new tone for education in Virginia and the nation.
“I am ready and more motivated than ever to engage at this critical time in our nation’s history serving alongside (Youngkin) as he leads Virginia through this historic opportunity to reset and restore public education with parents and students as the priority,” Balow said in a statement.