Oregon State Superintendent of Education to Join PLTW

INDIANAPOLIS (June 4, 2012) - Project Lead The Way is pleased to announce that Susan Castillo is joining our organization as Regional Vice President, West Region. Susan comes to PLTW from the Oregon State Department of Education, where she served as the State Superintendent for three terms, overseeing the education of more than a half million students in over 1,200 public and charter schools.  

“Accepting this position allows me to continue providing leadership for our school children on a national level,” Susan said. “I’m excited to join an organization that is focused on creating inspiring learning opportunities for students in Oregon and across the country in science, technology, engineering, and math. This opportunity fits perfectly with my strong belief that every one of our children is capable of reaching high levels of achievement. As we’ve seen, when we set higher standards for Oregon students, they make greater gains in their academic achievement. Our students have unlimited potential that we must support and foster.”

During her time in office, Susan stressed the importance of raising the academic bar for all students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. She fought successfully to expand early childhood education programs and full-day kindergarten to ensure that all children get a strong start to their schooling. She consistently looked for ways to implement innovative and equitable solutions to help students reach the highest levels of achievement, including a revamping of the Oregon high school diploma and infusing more rigorous and real-world relevance into the high school experience. Susan has worked to incorporate technology into teaching and learning, as well, through such efforts as the Oregon Virtual School District and the state's groundbreaking agreement with Google to bring technology resources into classrooms.

"Susan brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience with her to her new role with Project Lead The Way," said Rex Bolinger, PLTW senior vice president and chief engagement officer. "The work she's done for the students of Oregon shows her passion for education, and she'll be an advocate for all children in the western region as she works to make sure they have access to rigorous and hands-on STEM curricula."

As Regional Vice President for the West, Susan will work with a broad network of administators, state leaders, university and business partners to grow PLTW's reach and network throughout the western states. She will oversee a large team whose mission will be supporting existing PLTW schools and working to give more schools access to PLTW's STEM curricula.

Susan is a fellow of the American Leadership Forum, and has served on the board of organizations ranging from the Council of Chief State School Officers to Birth to Three, a national non-profit dedicated to strengthening families. She has received honors for her leadership from such organizations as the Commission on Women, the Latino Leaders Network, and Hispanic Business magazine, which named her one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" in America.

Susan received a B.A. in communications from Oregon State University and enjoyed a long career as an award-winning television journalist for KVAL-TV in Eugene, Oregon. She was the first Hispanic woman in the Oregon Legislative Assembly and served in the State Senate from 1997 to 2002. 

Please join PLTW in welcoming Susan to her new role. The Regional Vice Presidents of the West Central and Midwest regions will be announced in the days ahead.