Terry McAuliffe Picks Former Virginia First Lady Anne Holton As Education Secretary

RICHMOND -- For his education secretary, Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe picked someone steeped in Virginia government: Anne Holton.

A Harvard-trained attorney, Holton is a one-time judge on Richmond's Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court; the wife of Democratic U.S. Sen. (and former Gov.) Tim Kaine; and the daughter of another former governor, Linwood Holton.

The former Virginia first lady, 55, is director of the Virginia Community College system's Great Expectations program that helps foster children complete high school, attend community college and transition to independent living.

McAuliffe, who campaigned on enhancing state education and workforce training as keys to boosting the economy, announced Holton's selection Friday morning in the state Capitol.

"Anne is a living example of the role Virginia schools play in preparing students for future success," the Democrat said, citing her career working on youth issues.

Noting that she is the mother of three students educated in Virginia public schools, McAuliffe said: "Anne has a parent's perspective on how the schools serve our students and how we can improve them."

He also referenced how her family helped integrate Richmond schools in 1970 when her father, then the Republican governor, enrolled her and her siblings into what had been all-black city schools.

Through her lifetime's work on education issues, Holton said, she understands the role it "can play in lifting young people out of poverty and challenging circumstances and into successful adulthood, successful participation in our workforce."

She pledged to promote McAuliffe's education agenda and to "protect our great schools and to expand, particularly, the promise they hold for these children who far too often are left on the margins of our society."

That agenda includes reforming the state's Standards of Learning for measuring student performance through testing, something McAuliffe campaigned on.

McAuliffe previously nominated his other 11 Cabinet secretaries, including several with Hampton Roads ties. His designees require General Assembly confirmation.

Julian Walker, 804-697-1564, julian.walker@pilotonline.com ___

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