February 16, 2006
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
Mark E. Emblidge of Richmond was elected president of the Board of Education at the board’s February meeting yesterday in Richmond. Following his unanimous selection by his fellow board members, Dr. Emblidge said he wants to build on the success of the Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) program.
“There is a lot to be thankful for but we still have a long way to go,” Dr. Emblidge said. “The fact that we have 92 percent of our schools fully accredited is wonderful, but there are still students who are not passing the tests. We also want to take a look at those students who have no difficulty passing the SOL tests and figure out how we can continually challenge them, so that when they graduate they can compete with anyone in the world.”
Dr. Emblidge has served on the Board since 2002 and was reappointed earlier this month to a second term by Governor Timothy M. Kaine. He has represented Virginia on the Southern Regional Education Board since 2004.
Dr. Emblidge is an affiliate professor at the School of Education and director of The Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. His research focuses on adult and family literacy, high school reform, and at-risk children. He was elected to the City of Richmond School Board in 1994 and served for four terms, including three terms as chairman.
Dr. Emblidge received his doctorate and master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts.
The board elected Ella P. Ward of Chesapeake vice president. Dr. Ward has served on the board since 2003 and on the Chesapeake School Board since 2000. Dr. Ward retired in June 2004 after a 35-year career with Portsmouth Public Schools.
Dr. Ward earned a doctorate in education from Virginia Tech, masters’ degrees from Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State.