State Education Board has new leadership

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Board of Education has new leadership, having elected Nancy S. Perkins as chair and Peter E. Geiger as vice-chair.  

Perkins, of Cornish, had previously served as vice-chair and replaces outgoing chair Dr. Steven M. Pound, who will remain on the board.

Retired from public education after three decades, Perkins has remained active in education through her work on the State Board, also chairing its Legislative Liaison and Certification and Higher Education committees. She has served on several National Association of State Boards of Education study groups and presented at that organization’s national conference.

Perkins is also a selectman in Cornish and the director of the Riverside Food Pantry.

Geiger, of Lewiston, is the Executive Vice President of Geiger, the largest family-owned promotional products company in the country headquartered in Lewiston and is additionally editor and publisher of the Farmers’ Almanac.

He has long been active in supporting quality public education, founding an Adopt-A-School partnership with Montello Elementary School now celebrating its 25th year; serving as vice chair of the Maine Task Force on Learning Results and as former chair of the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education; and devoting many years to the State Board and its standing committees, including those he sits on now for School Facilities Construction and Career and Technical Education.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush honored Geiger with the 618th Point of Light, a recognition which marks its 5,000 recipient milestone this month.

Both Perkins and Geiger were elected to one-year positions that began July 1 and are eligible for re-election after serving their terms.

The Maine State Board of Education acts in an advisory capacity to the Commissioner of Education in matters concerning state education laws and makes education policy recommendations to the legislative and executive branches of State government.

The Board’s responsibilities under Maine law also include: overseeing approval of school construction projects for receipt of State funds; administering federal funds awarded to Maine for career and technical education; establishing standards for teacher certification; approving educator preparation programs; and recommending institutions of higher education for degree-granting authority.

While the State Board receives some staff support from the Maine Department of Education, it is an independent body.

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