Paul Pastorek was appointed to the Parcc Inc. Board of Directors in December 2013 and serves as its chairman. He served as Louisiana’s State Superintendent of Education from 2007 to 2011 and helped found the PARCC consortium in 2010.
He fought for many education reforms while Louisiana Superintendent of Education, but transforming K-12 education in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is arguably his most significant accomplishment. After the disaster, Pastorek created the Recovery School District (RSD) to reimagine and revamp the schools under its control, more than 100 of which were failing. In March 2007, while the RSD was working through the aftermath of Katrina and unable to reopen schools, Pastorek worked to create more public charter schools and raised extra money for Louisiana public schools,. His efforts to strengthen school accountability have led to a decrease in the dropout rate and the number of schools labeled as academically unacceptable in Louisiana.
Pastorek served as Chief Counsel and Corporate Secretary to the North American Division of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. He served on the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1996-2004, including the last three years as President of the Board. In 2004, Pastorek formed Next Horizon, a non-profit organization that serves as a statewide think tank to connect Louisiana’s leadership as a force supporting school improvement. Previously, he served as General Counsel to National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A licensed attorney, Pastorek has been associated with the law firm of Adams and Reese for more than 27 years.
He and his wife Kathy have three grown children, Ryan, Jeffrey and Kaitlin.
Laura McGiffert Slover
As Chief Executive Officer of Parcc Inc., Laura leads the work of the consortium in developing next-generation Common Core-aligned assessments by working with educators and policymakers from each of PARCC’s states in their ongoing efforts to bring the new computer-based tests to schools in the 2014-15 school year.
Prior to becoming CEO, she served as the senior vice president at Achieve, a bipartisan education reform organization, which served as the project manager for PARCC from 2010-2013. At Achieve, she was responsible for leading the work of the PARCC consortium. Since joining Achieve in 1998, she worked in various roles to support states in building systems of standards, assessments and accountability that help prepare students for success in college and careers. From 2009-10, Laura led Achieve’s efforts to support the development of the Common Core State Standards.
Laura began her career in education as an English teacher and basketball coach at Battle Mountain High School in Vail, Colorado, and an English instructor at Colorado Mountain College. She also did stints as a volunteer ski-patroller and a NOLS instructor.
A native Washingtonian, Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Harvard; a master’s in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder; and a master’s in education policy from Georgetown. Laura was appointed to the District of Columbia School Board in 2007 and was subsequently elected twice to the State Board of Education. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Bill and daughter Avery, who is a rising first-grader at a District of Columbia public school.
Gene Wilhoit was appointed to the Parcc Inc. Board of Directors in December 2013. He served as executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers from 2006 to 2012.
Gene began his career as a social studies teacher in Ohio and Indiana. He served as a program director in the Indiana Department of Education, an administrator in Kanawha County West Virginia, and a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Education before assuming the position of executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), which he held 1986 – 1993. From 1994 to 2006, Gene led two state education agencies, as director of the Arkansas Department of Education and as deputy commissioner and commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education.
Gene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and economics from Georgetown College and a master’s in teaching, political science, and economics from Indiana University, Bloomington. He and his wife, Rebecca Campbell Wilhoit, have three children, Christopher, Kara, and Jason.