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Dartmouth College Director Becomes Vt. Ed Chief

AP/Toby Talbot

Vermont's new secretary of education says the state's system for funding schools isn't perfect, but is the most progressive in the country.

The comment came from Rebecca Holcombe Thursday as Governor Peter Shumlin announced her appointment to the state's top education job. 

Following the announcement, Shumlin summarized the challenge facing Vermont’s education system.

“The question is – from early childhood education to higher education to workforce re-training – how do we do a better job preparing our kids for the skills they need for the jobs of this 21st century," Shumlin said. "If we get that right, we’ve got a bright jobs future. And if we don’t, we won’t – it’s that simple.”

Holcombe is director of the teacher education program at Dartmouth College in Hanover and she lives in Norwich.

She replaces Armando Vilaseca, who has been in the job more than four years and said when he was hired he wanted to stay in it only about five years.

Holcombe was a teacher and principal before her work at Dartmouth. She has degrees from Brown University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, among others.