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Press Release

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pennsylvania Chief Joins CCSSO Board of Directors

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (January 12, 2017) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera will join its 2016-17 Board of Directors.

CCSSO's Board of Directors manages the overall business affairs of the Council and is the governing body of the organization. The board is composed of the president, the president-elect, the past president, and six directors elected by CCSSO members.  

"Over the past two years, CCSSO has been a valuable partner to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, including playing an instrumental role in helping the Department facilitate a thoughtful ESSA [Every Student Succeeds Act] Stakeholder Engagement process that resulted in accolades from many of our stakeholders," Rivera said. "I look forward to serving in support of my colleagues in other states as they undertake the important mission of preparing students for future success."  

"Secretary Rivera recognizes the realities of our public school systems, and as the leader of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, he continues to exemplify his commitment to equity for all kids. We are honored to have him join our Board of Directors," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO.

Rivera was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf and confirmed by the state Senate to serve as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education in 2015. Rivera's extensive experience includes serving as superintendent of the School District of Lancaster, a classroom teacher, staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia.

His interest to transform education is demonstrated in his recent role on the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission which developed a fair and equitable funding formula to reinvest in Pennsylvania's schools.   Rivera holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University. He received a master's degree in Education Administration from Cheyney University and earned his Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University.

Here is a full list of CCSSO's 2016-17 Board of Directors:

  • President: Melody Schopp, South Dakota
  • President-Elect: Carey Wright, Mississippi
  • Past President: Tony Evers, Wisconsin
  • Board Member: Jillian Balow, Wyoming
  • Board Member: Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota
  • Board Member: Stephen Pruitt, Kentucky
  • Board Member: Pedro A. Rivera, Pennsylvania
  • Board Member: Hanna Skandera, New Mexico
  • Board Member: Tony Smith, Illinois


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.