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State School Board chairwoman named Herbert's education adviser

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21 2014 4:01 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Three weeks after being named chairwoman of the State School Board, Tami Pyfer will resign her seat on the board to serve as Gov. Gary Herbert's education adviser, the governor's office announced Tuesday.

Pyfer has served on the board since 2010 and was elected to board leadership last month by her School Board colleagues. She replaces Christine Kearl as education adviser, who served in the post for 10 years.

"As parents, we’ve had public school, private school and home school experiences with our children. I have been a non-traditional student, educator, researcher and school board member, so I’ve seen education from many angles,” Pyfer said in a prepared statement. “Gov. Herbert has placed a strong emphasis on strengthening education for all Utah students and I am eager to bring my experience and perspective to this important work."

Emilie Wheeler, spokeswoman for the State School Board, said the board was made aware of Pyfer's decision on Tuesday. Board leadership members also planned to meet Tuesday to discuss the process of filling Pyfer's position as board chairwoman.

In a prepared statement, Herbert expressed his appreciation for Kearl's service and his confidence in Pyfer.

"Education is my top budget priority and the key to our long-term economic strength,” Herbert said. “Tami has seen our education system at work from every angle and she will provide valuable perspective as we work to reach our goal to have 66 percent of Utah adults with a college degree or certificate by 2020."

Prior to her appointment to the State School Board in 2010, Pyfer served as a member of the Logan City Council, the Logan Schools Foundation Board of Directors and as a program specialist for the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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