|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, March 16, 2000|
|Contact:||Darrell S. Pressley 781-338-3126|
Barbara Gardner, State Representative From Holliston, To Join Massachusetts Department Of Education As Associate Commissioner For School Readiness Programs
Malden - Barbara Gardner, the Majority Whip of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, will join the staff of the Massachusetts Department of Education this fall as Associate Commissioner for the Office of School Readiness.
Rep. Gardner, of Holliston, has been a member of the House since 1987, and served for three years as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Arts and the Humanities. She played a significant role in the drafting and the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993. In the legislature, she has championed school safety measures and modifications to the state's laws governing special education, school aid and school building assistance programs.
At the Department of Education, she will be responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of state programs that support local school efforts to prepare students to begin school. She will work on behalf of the Department of Education to coordinate the efforts of various state agencies now working on behalf of children and families.
"Students, particularly in urban districts, come to school less ready to learn than ever before due to the breakdown of family support, the rise of violence and other factors. We need to do more to connect families to schools, and to help families in their partnership at home to support the growth and the academic achievement of their children. Representative Gardner will be a leader in our agency's work on these issues," said Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll.
"Representative Gardner will bring to the Department of Education considerable knowledge of state agencies, especially in the areas of social services and education. In addition, she has a valuable reservoir of personal experience in working with government officials at the state and local levels and with school districts. I look forward to her contribution to our work to improve student achievement," Driscoll added.
Rep. Gardner said, "I am delighted to be joining the Department of Education at a time when public education is the top priority of the leadership and the people of Massachusetts. We have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to joining the Commissioner and his top quality staff to make a difference for children and their families."