In December of 2010, Governor Susana Martinez nominated Hanna Skandera to lead the New Mexico Department of Public Education.
Hailing Ms. Skandera as a "proven reformer," Governor Martinez again emphasized her commitment to transforming New Mexico public schools into world-class academic institutions, ensuring every student has access to a quality education.
Previously, Ms. Skandera served as Florida’s Deputy Commissioner of Education under former Governor Jeb Bush. During his Administration, she advanced middle and high school reforms that instituted greater accountability, incentives for high performance and the end of social promotion. As a result of these bold education reforms, reading scores improved dramatically across ethnic groups, with Hispanic students outperforming all students in 31 other states. Florida has been recognized nationally as one of the only states to narrow the achievement gap for poor and minority students.
Ms. Skandera has served as a senior policy advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education. During former President George W. Bush’s Administration, she assisted Secretary Margaret Spellings with policy development and implementation, strategy, and communications. Ms. Skandera also served as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Undersecretary for Education.
Most recently, Ms. Skandera served as CEO of Laying the Foundation, a national teacher-training program for teachers of English, mathematics and science in grades 6 through 12, committed to providing excellent teacher training and serving as a model across the United States.
Prior to joining Laying the Foundation, Ms. Skandera was Executive Vice President for Academic Partnerships in Dallas, Texas. Academic Partnerships supports state college and university efforts to deliver high-quality, accredited online programs to students nationally and internationally.
Formerly, Hanna was a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution where she authored and edited numerous books and papers, including
Skandera received her Master’s of Public Policy, specializing in American Politics and International Relations from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business from Sonoma State University.