COVID-19 Education Response and Recovery Work Group

Work Group Purpose

The COVID-19 Education Response and Recovery Work Group exists to align policies throughout the PK-20 education continuum and to develop recommendations for long-term recovery plans. This work group is system focused, and long-term in nature. The group will build resilience in our schools for years to come, and develop policy recommendations to address systemic issues. The work group is divided into subcommittees that will develop policy recommendations to address problems that cut across the education continuum. The five subcommittees are listed below.

  • Learning Gaps
  • Digital Divide
  • Food Insecurity and Basic Needs
  • Mental and Physical Health
  • Cross System Policy Alignment

Members of the Commission

Steering Committee

  • Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education, Chair of COVID-19 Education Workgroup     
  • Fran Bradford, Deputy Secretary of Education for Higher Education and Museums
  • Peter Blake, Director, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
  • Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia Department of Education

Workgroup Members

  • Jenna Conway, Chief School Readiness Officer, Office of the Governor
  • Holly Coy, Assistant Superintendent for Policy, Communications, and Equity, Virginia Department of Education
  • Dr. Laurie Forlano, Deputy Commissioner for Population Health, Virginia Department of Health
  • Jennifer O. Macdonald, Director, Division of Child and Family Health, Virginia Department of Health
  • Dr. Lynn Clayton Prince, Director of Special Education, Powhatan County Public Schools and President-Elect, Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education
  • Pam Simms, Program Director, Gladys H. Oberle School
  • Dr. Donna Henry, Chancellor, University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Chair, Council of Presidents in Virginia
  • Dr. Michael Rao, President, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Taylor Reveley, President, Longwood University
  • Dr. Makola Abdullah, President, Virginia State University
  • Dr. Sharon Morrissey, Senior Vice Chancellor, Virginia Community College System
  • Dr. John Downey, President, Blue Ridge Community College
  • Dr. Eric Williams, Superintendent, Loudoun County Public Schools
  • Dr. Jared Cotton, Superintendent, Chesapeake Public Schools
  • Dr. Dennis Carter, Superintendent, Smyth County Schools
  • Kathy Burcher, Representative, Virginia Education Association   
  • Melinda Bright, Representative, Virginia Education Association
  • Dr. Travis Burns, Principal, Northumberland High School and President, Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals
  • Dr. Andrew Buchheit, Principal, T. Clay Wood Elementary School and President, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Ann-Marie Ward, Council Treasurer, Virginia Parent Teacher Association
  • Pamela Croom, President-Elect, Virginia Parent Teacher Association
  • Teddy Martin II, Member, Henry County School Board and Regional Chair, Virginia School Boards Association
  • Karen Corbett-Sanders, Chair, Fairfax County School Board
  • Grace Creasey, Executive Director, Virginia Council for Private Education
  • Robert Lambeth, President, Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia
  • Dr. Larry Stimpert, President, Hampden-Sydney College
  • Dr. Tiffany Franks, President, Averett University
  • Dan Gecker, President, Virginia Board of Education
  • Marianne Radcliff, Representative, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
  • Jared Calfee, Executive Director, Virginia21          
  • Rich Conti, Director, Science Museum of Virginia
  • Dr. Betty Adams, Executive Director, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center
  • Dr. Ingrid Grant, Chief of School Leadership for Henrico County Public School, Governor’s African American Advisory Board Representative
  • Hyun Lee, Doctoral Student, Governor’s Asian Advisory Board Representative
  • Diana Brown, Assistant Principal, Landstown Elementary, Governor’s Latino Advisory Board Representative
  • Ashley Marshall, Chair, Virginia Council on Women
  • Shan Lateef, Rising Senior, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Governor’s STEM Phenom Award Winner
  • Andrea Johnson, 2020 Virginia Teacher of the Year, High School Language Arts Teacher, Salem City Schools
  • David Walrod, Middle School Learning Disabilities Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Cheryl Lacy, ESL Teacher, Norfolk Public Schools
  • Dr. Sandy Curwood, Director, Office of School Nutrition, Virginia Department of Education
  • Dr. Anand Rao, Past President, Faculty Senate of Virginia and Professor of Communication, University of Mary Washington
  • Dr. Evie Terrono, President-Elect, Virginia Conference of the American Association of University Professors and Professor of Art History, Randolph-Macon College
  • Angela Moore, President Elect, Virginia Association for School Nurses
  • Brett Welch, Elementary School Counselor, Henrico Public Schools

Related Press Releases

Staff Contact

Tori Noles
Special Assistant to the Secretary of Education  

Public Comment

Public feedback for the Work Group can also be sent to to be relayed to Commission members.