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Paine, Soule Take Leadership Roles at P21

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has named two new leaders. Former West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine is the organization's new president; P21 Interim Executive Director Helen Soulé is now the group's executive director.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a coalition of business and education groups focused on technology education and the integration of technology into education. The group provides the Framework for 21st Century Learning, a roadmap for education centered around technology and skills-focused learning.

The framework focuses largely on student outcomes in 21st century learning areas, including life and career skills, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, technology and information/media literacy, and core academic subjects using 21st century themes. It also includes guidelines for the supports required for 21st century learning, including standards and assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments.

Prior to taking on his new role, Paine was superintendent of schools for the state of West Virginia from 2005 to 2011 and is the recipient of a Milken Educator Award.

"Dr. Paine is uniquely suited for this position," remarked Frank Gallagher, P21 chair and executive director of Cable in the Classroom, in a prepared statement. Cable int he Classroom is a P21 member. "He is an innovative, inspirational leader with the experience and ability to lead the 21st Century Skills movement."

"I have been a major advocate and friend of P21 for years," said Paine, also in a prepared statement. "It is an honor to be able to work with this organization that has been a catalyst for 21st century skills implementation. I look forward to helping lead P21 in the next phase of bringing the best and brightest minds in education to showcase 21st century learning and expand P21's circle of influence."

According to P21, Paine will "work in partnership with P21's broad coalition of business leaders, education and nonprofit leaders, state partners and policy makers to continue to implement 21st century readiness for every student. Paine will also lead P21's new collaborative efforts in 21st Century Exemplars, 21st Century Citizenship, and represent P21 at conferences and events."

Soulé, a former teacher, has been executive director of Cable in the Classroom and also served as director of state partnerships at P21. She's been the interim executive director since 2012.

"I am excited to be able to continue supporting P21 in the role of executive director and look forward to working with Steve to expand and deepen our very important work to support education in this critical time," Soulé said.

Editor's note: This article has been modified since its original publication to correct a factual error. We previously stated Soulé had been interim executive director for four years; she has been interim director since 2012. [Last updated Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:21 a.m.] --David Nagel


About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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