The Board of Education consists of nine members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. Members are appointed to serve a term of four years. No member shall be appointed to more than two consecutive four-year terms.
To receive email notifications from the Board of Education regarding upcoming public meetings, opportunities for public comment, etc. please contact Melissa Luchau, director for board relations.
Christian N. Braunlich, President
Appointed to first full term – July 1, 2011
Christian N. Braunlich was appointed to the Board of Education in July 2011 by Governor Robert F. McDonnell. Mr. Braunlich was elected president of the board February 2014.
He is vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, and has worked in public policy for a variety of organizations since 1980. He served as a member of the Fairfax County School Board from January 1996 to December 2003 and currently serves on the Board of College Access Fairfax.
A graduate of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, he resides in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County with his wife, Eileen. They are the parents of four children, Christian, Stephen, Brian, and Catherine.
Winsome E. Sears, Vice President
Appointed to first full term – January 30, 2011
Winsome Sears of Frederick County was appointed to the Board of Education in February 2011 by Governor Robert F. McDonnell. Ms. Sears was elected vice-president of the board February 2014, and serves as the Board’s liaison to the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure (ABTEL). Ms. Sears is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served in the House of Delegates in 2002 and 2003, representing portions of Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. She is the president of an appliance, plumbing and heating firm. Ms. Sears is a graduate of Old Dominion University and earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Regent University.
Diane T. Atkinson
Dr. Oktay Baysal
Appointed to unexpired term of Mr. K. Rob Krupicka – October 17, 2012
Oktay Baysal was appointed to the Board of Education in 2012 by Governor Robert F. McDonnell. He serves as chairman of the Board’s College Partnership Laboratory Schools Committee.
Dr. Baysal is dean of the College of Engineering & Technology at Old Dominion University.
He received a doctorate from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree from the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and bachelor’s degree from the Technical University of Istanbul. A licensed professional engineer, Dr. Baysal is an eminent scholar of mechanical & aerospace engineering, as well as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer.Dr. Baysal is married with two daughters and resides in Virginia Beach.
Dr. Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.
Appointed to unexpired term of Mr. Kelvin L. Moore – January 14, 2010
Billy K. Cannaday Jr. of Midlothian was appointed to the Board of Education in December 2009 by Governor Timothy M. Kaine, and was reappointed by Governor Robert F. McDonnell July 1, 2011. Dr. Cannaday serves as chairman of the Committee on the Standards of Quality.
Dr. Cannaday is the dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia (UVA). Prior to joining UVA, he served as Virginia's Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2006-2008. A career educator for more than 30 years Dr. Cannaday has worked in elementary, middle and high schools and was superintendent in two of the Commonwealth's largest school divisions.
Dr. Cannaday received his doctorate in educational administration and bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He earned his masters in educational administration from Hampton University.
James H. Dillard
Appointed to first full term – January 30, 2014
James Hardy Dillard was appointed to the Board of Education in 2014 for a four year term by Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Mr. Dillard is a former House of Delegates member who represented the 41st district (Fairfax County) for a total of 32 years. He was a resource teacher and acting principal in the Fairfax County Public School system for 30 years.
Mr. Dillard received his Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of William & Mary, and his Master’s Degree in political science from American University.
Darla Edwards (formerly Mack)
Appointed to first full term – April 13, 2012
Darla Edwards was appointed to the Board of Education in 2012 for a four year term by Governor Robert F. McDonnell. She serves as chairman of the Board’s Charter School Committee.
She is the president and co-founder of an education consulting company. Mrs. Edwards also has over 15 years of experience as a teacher and principal in Virginia public schools.
Mrs. Edwards received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Lynchburg College.
Sal Romero Jr.
Appointed to unexpired term of Andrew Ko – October 20, 2014
Sal Romero Jr. was appointed to the Board of Education in 2014 by Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Mr. Romero is the assistant principal at Spotswood Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prior to his current position, he has served in public education in the Shenandoah Valley since 2004, as an athletic trainer, home-school liaison, ESL teacher, and assistant principal.
Mr. Romero received his Bachelor’s Degree from James Madison University, and his Master’s Degree from Shenandoah University.
Joan E. Wodiska
Appointed to first full term – January 30, 2013
Joan E. Wodiska was appointed to the Board of Education in January 2013 by Governor Robert F. McDonnell.
Mrs. Wodiska was a member of the Falls Church City School Board from 2004-2013, serving as chairman and vice-chairman during her tenure. She was also the vice chair of the Governor's Task Force on Local Mandates, and served as president of the Virginia School Boards Association. Mrs. Wodiska works as the Vice President and Chief Leadership Officer (CLO) for the American Council on Education. Previously, she served as the Director of Education and Workforce for the National Governors Association.
A graduate of Concordia College and George Washington University, she currently resides in Falls Church.
To contact a member of the Virginia Board of Education, please email BOE@doe.virginia.gov.