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W.Va. State Senator Amy Grady named chairman of Senate Education Committee

WV Press News Sharing

CHARLESTON – State Senator Amy Nichole Grady, R-Mason, has been named chairman of the Education Committee.

Senator Amy Grady

State Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, made the announcement on Wednesday.

“We have made monumental strides in providing educational options and expanding school choices for our families,” Senate President Blair said. “It’s now time to usher in a new era with a focus on supporting our state’s public schools and increasing student achievement. I believe there is nobody better to lead that focus than Senator Grady. We want our public school educators to know that we are committed to giving them the resources and tools they need to be the best in the world. I am confident with Senator Grady’s leadership, those lines of direct communication will open right up. Education is economic development, period. We have seen unprecedented success with our economic development efforts in the last few years, and it is time for us to bring that same level of success to our public schools.”

Senator Grady was elected to the Senate in 2020. She is Vice Chairman of the Health and Human Resources Committee and serves as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development, Judiciary, Military and Natural Resources committees. She is a career public school educator and is currently a 4th Grade teacher at Leon Elementary School in Mason County. She is the first full-time public school educator to serve as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee since 1970.

Senator Grady has been a public school classroom teacher since 2007. She has been a 4th Grade teacher for the last 12 years.

“I am excited and humbled to be trusted with such an important role in our state Legislature. I look forward to assuming my new role and working with others to make positive changes in public education in West Virginia,” Senator Grady said. “My focus when it comes to education is (and always will be) making sure that student success is at the center of every decision considered.”

President Blair expressed excitement on Brady’s appointment.

“This is a new day for public education in West Virginia. In just a few months, we’ve seen a complete change in our State Board of Education. We have a new state Board of Education president, a new State Superintendent of Schools, and two board members have resigned. These changes give us a Board of Education eager and willing to work with the Legislature, not against it.”

“Our state’s top export is our youth. We have started to reverse that trend, and we are in the position of creating even more economic opportunities with even more jobs that will bring more people to this state to live, work, and raise a family. Our goal is to stop declining school enrollment, stop school consolidations, and build more schools. There is no member of the Senate better equipped for this mission than Senator Amy Grady.”

“As the Senate President, it’s my duty to put members into place where they can do the most good and serve the people of West Virginia the best. You can’t send a welder in to do an electrician’s job. I am grateful to Senator Rucker for all she has done to advance public charter schools, microschools, home school education, and educational savings accounts. With our renewed focus, it was time for new leadership.”

Senator Grady’s colleagues also praised the move, citing her ability to work with stakeholders and legislators of all parties and her genuine desire to elevate West Virginia’s public school teachers and ensuring all children have the best chance for success:

“Senator Grady’s perspective as a public school classroom teacher gives her the unique ability to understand the incredibly complex issues that our teachers deal with every day. I know she will focus on what’s best for West Virginia’s children, and I am excited to work with her in her new role.”

— Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld, R-Ohio

“As the husband of a public school teacher, I know first-hand the challenges and rewards our teachers experience day in and day out. I hope this move shows teachers our commitment as a Legislature to get them in the best position possible to just teach. I look forward to seeing what Senator Grady will accomplish.”

— Senator Jack David Woodrum, R-Summers

“Senator Grady is a hard-working lady with a heart for service and for our state’s kids. I will miss my buddy sitting beside me on the back row of the Senate floor, but I am so excited for the opportunity West Virginia has to make real changes with our public school system with Amy as our lead.”

— Senator Rupie Phillips, R-Logan

Senator Grady represents the Fourth Senatorial District, which includes Mason and Jackson counties and parts of Roane and Putnam counties.

Grady replaces Senator Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, who announced Wednesday on WV MetroNews that she plans to challenge Blair for the leadership of the Senate.

President Blair noted Rucker’s performance as committee chair:

“Senator Rucker has done a tremendous job in promoting and advancing school choice options in the state of West Virginia. And to ensure those options are successful and receive the appropriate attention needed, I have engaged in conversations with the State Board of Education and State Department of Education to establish an office and position that supports non-traditional education programs,” Senate President Blair continued. “We can’t simply check the box and move on since simply because the legislation has passed. We need to ensure the appropriate support is provided to parents and entities taking advantage of education options so that they flourish and are successful.”

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