Superintendent of Public Instruction
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.
Jillian Balow was a classroom teacher for 10 years and has worked to support children and families her entire career. In addition to teaching, Balow has consulted in the private sector, served in the Wyoming Department of Family Services, and was a policy advisor to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. She was elected twice as the Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction, serving seven years before stepping down to serve in Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration.
Balow has worked with tribal partners to enact “Indian Education for All” so that all Wyoming students learn about the history and contributions of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes. She developed a support system for Wyoming’s lowest-performing schools and in three years, the number of schools requiring assistance decreased by 5%. She incorporated career and military readiness into Wyoming’s statewide accountability model and worked with business, industry, policymakers, and educators to enact and implement computer science education in every K-12 classroom.
Nationally, Balow served as President of the Board of Directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers, the professional association of state education heads from across the nation, from 2019-2020. She is a member of the Hunt Institute's 2020 Cohort 6 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows. She also served as the Treasurer of the Education Commission of the States, the highest-ranking position a state superintendent can have in that organization. Balow was recognized as the 2017 State Policymaker of the Year by the State Education Technology Directors Association and the 2016 Influencer of the Year, awarded by the Mott Foundation. In 2017, she received the Patrick Henry Award for distinguished partnership with the armed forces. In 2021, Balow was recognized as a Wyoming business “changemaker” for her initial and ongoing response to COVID-19.
Videos from the Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Virginia Literacy Act
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow discusses the Virginia Literacy Act requiring evidence-based reading and literacy instruction in schools and teacher preparation programs. The legislation - sponsored by Delegate Carrie Coyner, R-Chesterfield and Senator Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth - was approved by the 2022 Virginia General Assembly.
Trends in Reading and Literacy
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow discusses recent trends in reading and literacy, including student performance on Standards of Learning assessments, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screener (PALS).
Communication & Reports Provided by the Superintendent
Weekly memoranda from the superintendent of public instruction are the means by which the Virginia Department of Education communicates official information to the commonwealth's school divisions. Superintendent's Memoranda are posted on Fridays.
Superintendent's Annual Report
The Superintendent's Annual Report contains educational statistics reported annually by school divisions to the Department of Education. The report includes tables on enrollment, pupil-teacher ratios, promotion, retention, graduation, dropouts, and attendance, as well as financial data and data on school division personnel.
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