HARRISBURG, Pa., April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today said he has named Larry A. Wittig, of Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, as chairman of the State Board of Education. He has been a member of the board since 2001.
"Larry Wittig brings an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience in education, as well as the understanding of fiscal responsibility, to help us achieve our academic goals for Pennsylvania," Corbett said. "He has been involved in every level of the education system, from his local school district in Tamaqua, to the board of trustees at Philadelphia University to the State Board of Education.
"Larry understands the connection between state-level education policies and their impact on teaching and learning. At the same time, he is open to new ideas to improve Pennsylvania's educational system, with the ultimate goal of preparing our young people to be productive citizens with meaningful careers,'' Corbett added. "I also want to thank the board's outgoing chairman, Ambassador Joe Torsella, for his service to the board and to Pennsylvania's students."
"I am humbled and honored to take on this position," Wittig said. "The economic challenges we are facing force all of us to think in a much more creative way, and I firmly believe that public education will be better for it."
Wittig is currently serving his second term on the State Board of Education, where he chairs the School and University Safety Committee and is a member of the Council of Basic Education, the Academic Standards Committee, and the Student Health and Wellness Committee. He previously served as a member of Governor Ridge's Commission on Academic Standards.
Wittig, a Certified Public Accountant, serves as senior partner at Wittig CPAs. He is also a member of the Schuylkill Community Education Council and the Luzerne-Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board. He has also been a member of the Tamaqua Area School Board since 1995.
Wittig earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from Drexel University. He and his wife, Karen, have three children.
Outgoing chair Joe Torsella resigned from the board to accept a White House appointment to the United Nations. His appointment was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Torsella had served as board chairman since 2008.
"Larry Wittig has been a great colleague and friend to me, and I couldn't be happier to pass him the gavel," Ambassador Torsella said. "Larry's hard work, commitment, and willingness to listen to all sides will make him a terrific leader for the board."
Governor Corbett noted that during his three years on the board, Ambassador Torsella helped craft rigorous high school reforms, strengthen standards for alternative teacher certification programs, and increase the transparency and accessibility of the board's work.
The State Board of Education is the principal administrative regulatory body for elementary/secondary and higher education in Pennsylvania. For more information about the board, visit www.pde.state.pa.us.
Janet Kelley, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Tim Eller, Department of Education; 717-783-9802
Adam Schott, State Board of Education, 717-787-3787
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor