PSU Professor Nominated as Next N.H. Education Commissioner

April 15th, 2009 by Adam

Plymouth, N.H. –– Longtime PSU professor and administrator Virginia ‘Ginny’ Barry has been nominated by Gov. John Lynch to be New Hampshire’s new Commissioner of Education. Barry, of Bridgewater, also is a former elementary school teacher and principal. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen praised Barry’s nomination.

“Virginia Barry will be a wonderful Commissioner. She brings to the position leadership experience across the educational levels, knowledge of the state’s educational opportunities, and an energy and intelligence that will serve New Hampshire well,” Steen said.

Currently, Barry is a professor in PSU’s College of Graduate Studies. She previously served as the University’s Acting President, and was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Barry has also served as the chair and coordinator of teacher education programs at PSU.

Barry has been widely recognized for her educational expertise, receiving PSU’s Harold E. Hyde Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership, the College of Graduate Studies Award for Outstanding Transformational Leadership, the Distinguished Teaching Award, and the New York State Award for Support of People with Disabilities. She has excelled in teaching and scholarship that has benefited New Hampshire schools.

She earned a doctorate in human development and early childhood education from Florida State University, a master’s in child development from Queens College and a bachelor’s in early childhood education from Florida State. Barry has also completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University, the College of William and Mary and New York University.

New Hampshire’s Executive Council will hold a public hearing on Barry’s nomination and has scheduled a vote on her appointment May 6.

About Plymouth State University

Plymouth State University is the University System of New Hampshire’s regional comprehensive university that combines a heritage of teaching excellence with innovation in engaged research and community outreach. Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 2,700 graduate students currently are enrolled at PSU, which has state-of-the-art academic and residential facilities; a classic New England village campus; four-season recreation; and historic landscapes that inspire all who study, work, and live here.

The University has taken a leadership role among the nation’s most environmentally friendly institutions of higher education. In 2006 Plymouth State opened the Langdon Woods Residential Complex, the first USNH building—and one of the first and largest university residence halls in the country—to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Langdon Woods is just one example of the University’s commitment to the environment, which also encompasses a campus-wide recycling program; new courses and majors aimed at preparing graduates for careers in environmental science, stewardship, and policy; and EcoHouse, a new learning laboratory that shows students how even small-scale environmental design features can have important environmental implications.

For more information contact PSU Director of Public Relations Christopher Williams, (603) 535-2476.

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