Educators mourn death of former Delaware education secretary
Lillian Lowery came to Delaware in March 2006, taking the helm of the 17,000- student and 2,200-employee Christina School District.
An qualified in performing far more with little, Lowery led the state’s major university district out of a $28 million spending budget deficit. She caught the eye of educators in the local community just after taking care of to squeeze via scarce financial methods at the time as one of her to start with acts as superintendent of the Christina University District.
Again then, Lowery called it her “best private and specialist encounter,” when she spoke with Delaware On the internet/The Information Journal.
She worked in the Christina College District for 3 several years just before having the situation of secretary for the Delaware Division of Education in 2009. All through her a lot of decades functioning in the field, Lowery brought sizeable adjustments to the public instruction technique in Delaware by securing necessary state funding even throughout harsh economic circumstances, building an impact on more than 120,000 pupils.
Lowery, 67, died last week. Her spouse and children introduced her death on her LinkedIn profile on Thursday. Additional particulars had been not straight away obtainable.
“Dr. Lowery was a passionate chief and will be remembered for the contributions she made to the area of schooling and the countless numbers of students she served,” the family members wrote.
Educators all around the condition and country expressed sorrow and praised Lowery for her management and contribution to the area.
“Her enthusiasm for the schooling and equity of all pupils was unmatched,” U.S. Secretary of Training Miguel Cardona wrote on Twitter. “She was a huge in our discipline and she will be missed.”
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Lowery worked relentlessly to far better the educational system and generally publicly spoke about educating little ones in a way that enabled them to contend in the global overall economy.
When she joined the district in 2006, Lowery led Christina for 3 years and brought it out of economic disarray right after the state was pressured to give them a multi-million greenback crisis personal loan. In a small span of time, she restored the district’s education technique, but it was no stroll in the park.
In purchase to get back solvency, Lowery experienced to make several difficult conclusions from day a person, which include removing in excess of 67 academics and five nurses and enforcing a stringent shelling out freeze, all while the state closely monitored the district’s finances.
“She could have operate when she came to Christina due to the fact she had no strategy what she was having herself into,” the former secretary of the Delaware Section of Education, Valerie Woodruff, said when Lowery was nominated for secretary in 2009. “But she was there and caught it out and saved the aim on what was finest for the children.”
Lowery was appointed by then-Gov. Jack Markell to provide as the secretary of the Delaware Department of Training. Her nomination drew statewide acceptance of school reform advocates who noticed her as supportive of progressive initiatives to make improvements to Delaware’s public college process.
As secretary, Lowery facilitated statewide strategic planning and actively advocated for plans to improve the point out schooling procedure these kinds of as the Vision 2015 prepare. The plan consisted of a collection of recommendations to enhance public schooling but failed to protected any point out funding prior to Lowery’s arrival.
These days, much more than 75% of the Vision 2015 plan’s recommendations are implemented in the state instruction system.
As section of the strategy, Lowery led a multi-point out initiative and developed a Delaware Progress Assessment Pilot Program which been given nationwide media awareness in 2008. The system aimed at generating a secure financial institution of check issues that can be shared, enabling Delaware and other states to conveniently up grade the student assessments and reduce annual functioning prices.
The Delaware Office of Education remembered Lowery as “a solid advocate for bettering academic options for learners,” in a statement released by the office.
“Less than her management, Delaware was a single of the initial two states to win a federal Race to the Best Grant, which introduced a $119 million federal financial investment to guidance Delaware schools and increase scholar finding out,” the office mentioned. “She was a very well-respected chief and mentor for quite a few, and our ideas are with her good friends and household during this challenging time.”
Previous Delaware Gov. Markell also expressed his sorrow more than Lowery’s death.
“Lillian was a gem of a human being as perfectly as a wonderful leader,” Markell wrote in a tweet. “A huge reduction. So very pleased to have served with her.”
Lowery left Delaware in 2012 to get the job done as the state superintendent of colleges in Maryland, a placement she held right up until 2015.
That exact same year, she was named Plan Chief of the Yr by the National Affiliation of State Boards of Education and learning, an honor that is specified to policymakers or administrators who have made a important impression on national or state training coverage and education units.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reported that Lowery was “the best Superintendent of Educational facilities that Maryland ever had.” She was “admired by her peers,” he wrote on Twitter.
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Lowery went on to turn into the initially CEO of the academic nonprofit business FutureReady Columbus in 2015. Most lately, she served as the vice president of the New-Jersey-based mostly nonprofit Academic Screening Assistance, which conducts student and instructor assessments.
Just before coming to Delaware, Lowery was the assistant superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia. She held other administrative positions in Fairfax County and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
She was a native of Gastonia, North Carolina and stayed area to get a bachelor’s degree in English instruction from North Carolina Central College in 1976. She went on to get her master’s degree in schooling in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1978 and began her academic job training English to center and large school pupils in Virginia and North Carolina.
Following the news of her dying, Lowery’s LinkedIn profile was inundated with opinions from friends, colleagues and folks whom she experienced mentored in the earlier.
This involved Ted Jarrell, who labored with Lowery when she was the Christiana College District superintendent.
“She was a terrific particular person and a focused educator,” he wrote. “She will be missed.”
Speak to the reporter Yusra Asif at [email protected].