NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam has appointed Dr. James Pohl, Chief Academic Officer, to the Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Commission. 

Before joining Newport News Public Schools in July 2019, Dr.  Pohl served as the Executive Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning in Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He has 23 years of experience in public education having served as a math teacher, assistant principal, and principal.

Dr. Pohl is one of 44 individuals named to the Commission. The Commission includes a wide range of state and local stakeholders, including representatives of early childhood, K-12, post-secondary, out-of-school, informal, and environmental education programs, as well as workforce development, business and industry partners from every region of Virginia.

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“I am honored to serve on the STEM Education Commission and I look forward to working with educators and business professionals from across Virginia to ensure that all young people are prepared for the skilled, high-demand STEM careers of the 21st century,” said Dr. Pohl.

The Commission will work to address the educational inequities which often limit access to advanced courses in STEM disciplines, credentials, and work-based learning for many of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable and underrepresented students. It will support state efforts to close the achievement opportunity gaps in STEM-related fields, meet the growing economic demand for STEM-prepared employees, and help Virginia maintain its recognition as the best state for business.

First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam will chair the Commission, which will issue a written report with its findings and recommendations no later than July 1, 2020.