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Idaho schools chief accepts new job with STEM non-profit

Idaho schools chief accepts new job with STEM non-profit

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Aug 19, 2014

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has accepted a new position with a national non-profit, beginning in early 2015.

Superintendent Luna will serve as vice president of policy, advocacy and research for Project Lead the Way, the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs and teacher training.

Luna joins PLTW after serving eight years as the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Idaho.

"My focus and priority today continues to be the children of Idaho,” said Superintendent Luna. “There are several major initiatives that need continued attention -- such as teacher quality and pay through a new tiered system of licensure and a well-funded career ladder, technology implementation to increase access throughout Idaho, dual credit opportunities for all high school students and ensuring students are reading proficiently by the time they exit third grade. These are my highest priorities as I finish my second-term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.”

As vice president of policy, advocacy, and research, Superintendent Luna will oversee a team focused on advancing federal, state, and local policies, as well as research initiatives that support STEM growth across the United States. Luna will oversee four regional directors, as well as a team of policy analysts and researchers.

Luna previously announced he would not be seeking reelection as Idaho’s schools chief.

Prior to serving as State Superintendent, of Public Instruction Luna served on the Nampa School Board for seven years, including three as chairman. He was appointed by former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt to lead the Idaho Achievement Standards Commission, and was appointed to chair the Idaho Assessment and Accountability Commission by former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.

Luna also served as a senior advisor to then-U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige from 2003 to 2005, and has served as president of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
He currently sits on the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the Nation’s Report Card.

He and his wife Cindy have six adult children and ten grandchildren.