RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s governor-elect completed his 12 member Cabinet on Friday by naming former first lady Anne Holton secretary of education.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe said at a state Capitol news conference that Holton, a longtime child advocate, is “unrivaled in her passion for expanding opportunity for students who often are left behind.”
Holton is the daughter of former Gov. Linwood Holton and the wife of former Gov. Tim Kaine, who is now a member of the U.S. Senate. She is a longtime child advocate and former Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge.
“Anne Holton’s lifetime of experience with Virginia public schools, her public service on behalf of Virginia students and her passion for creating opportunity for all of our kids make her the best choice to join my administration as secretary of education,” McAuliffe said.
For the past year, Holton has directed Great Expectations, a Virginia Community College System initiative that helps young people who are aging out of foster care continue their education. As first lady, from 2006 to 2010, she launched an initiative aimed at helping find homes for older children in foster care and promoted Kaine’s efforts to expand access to early childhood education.
McAuliffe noted that Holton “had a front-row seat” to her father’s promotion of racial integration when she attended predominantly black public schools in Richmond.
“This is a humbling opportunity and an exciting one,” Holton said at the news conference.
She said she has seen firsthand how Virginia’s public schools can be a springboard to success for disadvantaged youth.
Holton earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her law degree from Harvard, where she met her husband.
Holton and his other 11 Cabinet nominees must be confirmed by the General Assembly, which historically has not interfered with the governor’s ability to assemble his team.
McAuliffe will be inaugurated Jan. 11.
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