The Virginia School Boards Association announced that staff member Gina Patterson will become the organization’s executive director beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

Patterson, who is currently serving as the deputy executive director, will succeed Barbara Coyle, who is retiring as executive director at the end of this year.

The Virginia School Boards Association is a public education advocacy group based in Charlottesville. Patterson joined the organization in 1998 as a membership services specialist before becoming assistant executive director in 2002. She became the deputy executive director last year and helped craft the group’s 2012-2015 strategic plan.

“With her vision for the future, many years of experience, and unwavering commitment to Virginia’s school boards, the boards of directors agree that Gina is the best choice to lead the Virginia School Boards Association,” said Roy Boyles, the group’s president. “She is an effective leader and passionate advocate for Virginia’s public education system.”