D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams yesterday announced the nomination of a longtime council aide and education advocate to serve as one of his appointees on the D.C. Board of Education.
JoAnne Ginsberg, a part-time special assistant to D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3), will replace mayoral appointee Mirian Saez if she is confirmed by the council in July.
Saez, who served as the board's vice president, resigned because she is moving to San Francisco. The board has nine members; five are elected and four are appointed by the mayor.
Williams, in a prepared statement, praised Ginsberg's record of working to improve education in the District. "JoAnne has extensive knowledge of the challenges facing our public schools," the mayor said. "She brings a depth of experience to the position along with a long history of collaborative work that will serve the students well."
Williams added that Ginsberg's experience as a parent and council staff member combined with "her respect of Superintendent Clifford Janey will arm her for dealing with this city's most pressing issue."
Ginsberg, 53, served as Patterson's chief of staff for seven years before she took on a part-time position working with principals, parents and constituents on education issues including teacher pay and the truancy rate. Ginsberg's two children attended a D.C. public elementary school but graduated from private high schools.
She said she submitted her name for the position this spring and had a 40-minute interview with Williams on Tuesday, when she answered a wide range of questions about education.
"I think I have a real knowledge of the school system from both being a parent to working at the council for a number of years," Ginsberg said. "I am a problem solver. I will continue to do so. We need to fix the schools so every child in the District is truly learning and is excited about learning."
Patterson, who is chairman of the council's Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation, said she spoke to the mayor on Ginsberg's behalf.
"I told him she would be a very good choice," Patterson said. "She brings a record of advocacy on the part of kids both as a PTA president at a local school and as an education staff person."
Staff writer V. Dion Haynes contributed to this report.