Pa. training secretary departs Cabinet put up to go after other expert chances

Pennsylvania Education and learning Secretary Noe Ortega is the most up-to-date member of expression-limited Gov. Tom Wolf’s cupboard workforce to announce his departure as the administration winds to a near.

Ortega is leaving his placement on April 29 just after five several years of performing in the department at first as deputy secretary for the Business office of Postsecondary and Bigger Education and learning and as secretary, for the previous 12 months and a fifty percent.

He will be succeeded by Wolf’s deputy main of team Eric Hagarty, who will serve in the submit in an acting potential.

Wolf spokeswoman Beth Rementer reported Ortega strategies to just take time off to target on family members and to contemplate his following professional pursuit.

“Noe is a committed advocate for all students and I’m grateful for his service to our commonwealth,” Wolf said in a assertion. “He led the department by way of unprecedented occasions, ensuring a safe and sound return to in-particular person mastering and furnishing obtain to COVID-19 tests and vaccines.

“His profitable endeavours to diversify our educator workforce and boost chances for college students to acquire postsecondary education possibilities will without doubt continue on to affect our learners for several years to come.”

Ortega, who came to the section from the College of Michigan where by he labored on diversity and increased schooling concerns, found himself in some difficult places in the course of his time as secretary. He was compelled to defend the administration’s controversial faculty mask mandate and other COVID-19 mitigation techniques. He fended off criticism of regulatory reforms to the charter faculty regulation. Ortega also experienced to face up to some tension from lawmakers over the delayed release of state check scores.

Even now, Ortega reported he regarded it “a huge honor to guide the Section of Training throughout an unparalleled minute in the heritage of the commonwealth and I am particularly proud of the accomplishments manufactured and the resiliency demonstrated by the PDE team in the course of my tenure,.”

Hagarty will become the 3rd individual in the Wolf Administration to head the education division. Wolf’s first schooling secretary Pedro Rivera still left in the fall of 2020 to become president of Thaddeus Stevens University of Technology in Lancaster.

As deputy secretary, Hagarty is credited with utilizing the governor’s schooling priorities like the “Level Up” application to commit far more in point out income in the most chronically underfunded faculties, the COVID-19 vaccine initiative for educators and the generational investments in the Pennsylvania Point out System of Higher Education.

“I’m fully commited to continuing to aid the governor for the remainder of his administration and to ensuring that his priorities for our schooling method are carried out, from pre-K to higher schooling as properly as the libraries that provide as the bedrock of a lot of communities,” Hagarty reported.

Jan Murphy could be attained at [email protected]. Adhere to her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

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