Gov. Matt Bevin remade the 12-member Kentucky Board of Education on Monday, appointing seven new members, including Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner — who resigned, effectively immediately, to take the post — and the governor’s own former communications director, Amanda Stamper.
The Republican governor previously had named four other members to the statewide board, so his appointees now have full control, replacing the last of the members named by former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. The president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Robert King, serves by law as a non-voting member of the board.
The board develops the policies that govern Kentucky’s 173 public school districts and the Kentucky Department of Education.
In addition to Heiner and Stamper, Bevin on Monday appointed Laura Timberlake of Ashland, Kathy Gornik of Lexington, Tracey Cusick of Union, Joe Papalia of Louisville and Ben Cundiff of Cadiz.
Heiner’s resignation ends a two-and-a-half year tenure at the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
“I am grateful for Secretary Heiner’s skilled and selfless leadership of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet over these past two and a half years,” Bevin said in a statement. “He has overseen a pivotal time of transformation, as we strengthen Kentucky’s education system and modernize workforce training. I appreciate his willingness to continue serving Kentucky in a less time-intensive, but very important role as a member of the state Board of Education. In his new role, I am confident he will work to ensure that every K-12 student in the Commonwealth has the best possible opportunity for success.”
Stamper, who previously was spokeswoman for the Bevin administration, now is public relations director at Anthem Inc.
On Friday, when thousands of teachers were protesting at the state Capitol, Stamper tweeted: “Heavy on my heart this morning are the children who’ve been left at home by themselves because their working parents can’t afford the extra childcare expense due to school being cancelled.”