Board of Education elects Gecker president

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Virginia Board of Education unanimously elected Daniel A. Gecker of Chesterfield County as president and Diane T. Atkinson of Hanover County as vice president. The vote was taken on Thursday, July 27.

Gecker was appointed to the Board of Education in January 2016 by Governor Terry McAuliffe to fill an unexpired term. The board selected Gecker as its vice president in February 2017.

“It is humbling and a rare privilege to follow one of my heroes,” Gecker said of Billy K. Cannaday Jr., whom he succeeds as board president.

Gecker is a partner in Urban Development Associates LLC, specializing in historical rehabilitation and urban revitalization. He was a member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors from 2008 to 2014, serving as chairman in 2010 and 2012.

Atkinson was appointed to the board in April 2012 by Governor Robert F. McDonnell and reappointed to a second four-year term in January 2016 by McAuliffe. She serves as chairman of the board’s Committee on School and Division Accountability.

In other action during its July business meeting in Richmond, the Board of Education approved its plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. The accountability provisions of the ESSA implementation plan are closely aligned with proposed revisions to the state’s accreditation standards, which place increased emphasis on closing achievement gaps between student groups and continuous improvement in all schools. The plan now goes to the U.S. Department of Education for review and approval.