The vision of the Virginia Department of Education is that Virginia will maximize the potential of all learners.
The mission of the Virginia Department of Education is to advance equitable and innovative learning.
Jillian Balow was named Superintendent of Public Instruction by Governor Glenn Youngkin in January 2022. As state superintendent, Balow serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, which is the administrative agency for the commonwealth’s public schools. Balow leads the external functions of the agency and also manages the internal operations. She also serves as secretary of the state Board of Education.
Chief of Staff – Dicky Shanor
Dicky Shanor was previously the chief of staff for Superintendent Jillian Balow at the Wyoming Department of Education and is a past president of the Cheyenne City Council. He also served on numerous statewide education-related boards in Wyoming, as an adjunct college professor teaching education law and policy courses, and as an attorney in private practice. Shanor earned degrees from the University of Wyoming College of Law and from Yale University, where he played varsity football.
Assistant Superintendent – Elizabeth Schultz
Elizabeth Schultz was named Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction by Governor Glenn Youngkin in January 2022. Schultz is an education and public policy professional, a prior U.S. Department of Education official, and a former professional senior contracts and negotiation manager. In her federal role, Schultz was appointed to serve as the Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology. In addition to her federal service, she was elected twice to the Fairfax County School Board, the nation’s 10th largest school system.
Division of Budget, Finance, and Operations – Kent Dickey, Deputy Superintendent
The Division of Budget, Finance, and Operations is responsible for distributing state and federal funds to school divisions and provides technical assistance to school divisions in the areas of finance, budget, teacher education and licensure, pupil transportation, child nutrition programs, and school facilities. It administers the Literary Fund school construction loan program, educational technology and school security equipment grants to divisions, and two education tax credit programs for donations to eligible entities. The division provides services to the Department in the areas of finance, budget, financial systems and reporting, procurement, and internal support services.
Division of School Quality, Instruction, and Performance – Vacant, Deputy Superintendent
The Division of School Quality, Instruction, and Performance leads the Department’s strategic initiatives to advance equitable student outcomes and comprehensive school quality. Through tailored support to schools, the division implements Virginia’s continuous school quality and improvement interventions. Additionally, the division leads the Department’s efforts aimed at advancing equity, closing achievement gaps, coordinating stakeholder engagement, and managing external communications and outreach strategies. Finally, the Division is responsible for supporting the implementation of Virginia’s Standards of Learning, strengthening curriculum resources, supporting best practices in pedagogy and providing technical assistance to teachers and schools.
Division of Early Childhood Care and Education – Jenna Conway, Deputy Superintendent
The Division of Early Childhood Care and Education helps prepare all Virginia children for kindergarten by supporting birth to five programming, including the Virginia Preschool Initiative and Early Childhood Special Education. The division focuses on key classroom practices including: the use of high-quality curriculum and assessment, teacher-child interactions and individualized professional development, as well as strengthening family engagement. The division also works with other state agencies that serve young children to build a more unified birth to five early childhood care and education system.
Department of Policy and Communications – Vacant, Assistant Superintendent
The mission of the Department of Policy Communications is to assist the Virginia Board of Education, the governor and the General Assembly in the development of legislation, regulations, and policies that promote student learning and achievement and to provide timely and accurate information about public education in the commonwealth. Department staff serve as liaison to the Board, and support the Board in promoting education reform. The department monitors federal policies and refers them to other divisions for oversight. The department maintains working relationships with the news media, educational organizations, and school divisions to ensure timely distributing of accurate information concerning the Board of Education policies and the Agency actions.
Department of Strategic Innovation – Michael Bolling, Assistant Superintendent
The Department of Strategic Innovation will deploy professional expertise and strategies focused on systemic innovation. Meeting the needs of students by promoting innovation and excellence in our K-12 system are core priorities of the Governor, the Secretary of Education, and the Superintendent.