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Erin Hames Named GaDOE Chief of Staff

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,   - Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook     August 20, 2010  -- State School Superintendent Brad Bryant announced today that Erin Hames has been appointed as the Georgia Department of Education's (GaDOE) Chief of Staff, effective August 26. In this role, she will lead GaDOE projects and initiatives, including Race to the Top, and ensure that the GaDOE team is focusing on the work that has the most positive impact on student achievement. Hames currently serves on the staff of Governor Sonny Perdue as Policy Director and previously served as his Education Policy Advisor. She will assume the role formerly held by Stephen Pruitt, who recently left to work in Washington, D.C.   "Erin's background and experience has given her a keen awareness of the education landscape in Georgia, and I am excited to welcome her to our team," said Superintendent Bryant. "She has worked extensively with the legislature, as well as state and national education partners, building relationships that will further enable the GaDOE's work."   “Erin’s experience as a classroom teacher, combined with her legal training, knowledge of education policy issues and management skills, makes her a perfect fit for this role," said Governor Perdue. "I am especially pleased that Superintendent Bryant and the State Board of Education recognized Erin’s talents and asked her to join the team at GaDOE."   After graduating from the University of Georgia's College of Education, Erin taught at Wakefield Middle School in Raleigh, North Carolina for three years. There she was named "First Year Teacher of the Year" and served on the School Improvement Team. Upon leaving North Carolina, Erin returned to her home state where she enrolled in law school at Georgia State University. She graduated with honors in May 2008. While in law school Erin worked in Governor Perdue's office as Legal Fellow and Education Policy Analyst. After graduating from law school, she began serving as Governor Perdue's Education Policy Advisor, advancing the Governor's legislative and policy agenda on all education-related issues from preschool to higher education. She currently serves as his Policy Director and continues to advise him on education issues. Erin and her husband, Ben, reside in Atlanta.