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State Board of Education Selects Ben Rarick as New Executive Director

Release Date: 

July 19, 2011

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On July 14, the State Board of Education announced the selection of Ben Rarick as the new Executive Director.

Mr. Rarick’s selection fills a vacancy left by five-year Executive Director Edie Harding, who has since taken a position in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prior to his selection as the State Board of Education’s next Executive Director, Mr. Rarick worked for the Washington State House of Representatives as a senior budget analyst for the Education Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees. Mr. Rarick’s career experiences also include time as a Project Coordinator in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and as a Director and Policy Associate for the New Jersey Department of Education.

"Ben will be an outstanding addition to the team,” said Jeff Vincent, Chair of the Washington State Board of Education. "His legislative, fiscal, and policy experience will have an immediate impact on our ability to tackle the important work we have ahead of us.”

Mr. Rarick’s selection to the Board comes at time of transition, as the Board evolves from its current work on graduation requirements and accountability for the state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools to future projects such as statewide education governance, online learning, effective instruction, and more.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” said Mr. Rarick. "I know that we have improved schools in this state, but there is so much more to be done. I look forward to working with the State Board and every education advocate to ensure that we are truly providing the best possible education for our children.”

Mr. Rarick’s first Board meeting as Executive Director will be September 14-15, 2011.

For more information visit:


Contact: Aaron Wyatt, Communications and Legislative Director

About the State Board of Education: The State Board of Education provides advocacy and strategic oversight of public education. The board is comprised of 16 members: five are elected by school board directors, seven are appointed by the Governor, two serve as student representatives, and one serves as a private school representative. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is also a member.

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Media Contact: 

Alissa Muller, SBE Communications Manager, (360) 725-6501