Gov. Wolf to nominate new education secretary

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Tom Wolf

FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, the dome caps the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to maintain what is one of the country’s largest legislative staffs, a small army with a voracious appetite for food, shelter, transportation, office supplies and computer equipment. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf announced on Tuesday that he intends to nominate Noe Ortega to serve as the next Secretary of Education.

Ortega is currently the Deputy Secretary of Postsecondary and Higher Education within the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Ortega will replace Pedro Rivera, who will continue to serve as secretary until Oct. 1 when he will become President of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

Ortega spent eight years at the University of Michigan in various academic and administrative roles before joining the PDE in 2017. He also spent almost a decade working in financial aid and enrollment management at public and private universities in Texas. In Japan, Ortega spent seven years as a director for a language institute, where he trained teachers in early childhood language acquisition.

“Noe Ortega has a proven record of advocating for equity and access for all students,” said Gov. Wolf. “Recently, Noe has been spearheading Pennsylvania’s efforts to diversify our educator pipeline to make our classrooms better reflect the students we educate, and his expertise will continue to advance the department’s mission of ensuring Pennsylvania’s learners have access to the educational opportunities that will help them succeed.”

Gov. Wolf said that Rivera’s leadership has been critical during the commonwealth’s response to COVID-19.

“The relationships he [Rivera] cultivated with education stakeholders during his tenure have strengthened the ties between state and local partners and allowed local schools to inform state education policy,” Gov. Wolf continued.

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