Vt. education secretary to step down

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:00 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Education Secretary Dan French announced Friday he will be stepping down next month to take a job at a Washington D.C.-based education policy nonprofit.

French, a former high school social studies teacher, principal, and superintendent, was appointed by Gov. Phil Scott in 2018 to help spearhead some of his top priorities including education funding reform and to address declining enrollment.

He was a key member of the governor’s cabinet during the pandemic, making regular appearances at COVID press conferences to address key topics including remote attendance, masking policy, and learning loss.

“Secretary French has been a critical member of my team for over four years, leading the Agency through unimaginable challenges in the wake of the pandemic,” Governor Scott said in a statement. “I could always count on Dan to provide sound advice, putting the needs of students, parents and educators at the forefront. He has dedicated his life to public service, first in the U.S. Army, then as an educator and as a public school administrator. I’m confident he will excel in his new role, bringing his experienced leadership to the national level.”

French will take a senior leadership role at the Council of Chief State School Officers, an organization of elementary and secondary school leaders from across the country dedicated to making sure students graduate “prepared for college, careers, and life.”

Deputy Secretary Heather Bouchey will serve as interim secretary after French leaves.