Julie Pile, a Florence resident, was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education Tuesday by Gov. Andy Beshear along with Diana Woods of Lexington.
The appointments come after the governor received criticism last week from the Republican party after the Courier-Journal found the governor didn’t appoint members to the board for over a year — the GOP further called on the governor to appoint at least one Republican to the board as required by law.
“Andy Beshear’s political interference in education is a pattern,” Kentucky GOP Spokesman Sean Southard said last week. “He wiped out the entire board of education on his first day in office and appointed a slate of Democrats to oversee our education system.
Southard referred to Beshear’s first day in office in 2019 when he stuck to a campaign promise of overhauling the Board of Education. The move drew ire from the GOP.
Further, Senate President Republican Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) said the move was “purely political.”
“He is not ‘education first,’ but ‘politics first,’ which is evident by him having appointed only Democrats to the board after blowing it up on his first day in office—giving us a far-left education commissioner—to now being unable to identify even two registered Republicans to appoint,” Stivers said. “It is time for the Governor to represent all people, not just members of his political party.”
With Pile’s appointment, however, Beshear has appointed a registered Republican to the board — which builds and assumes responsibility for the regulations controlling Kentucky’s public schools.
Pile is a member of the Kentucky United We Learn Council. She is the co-founder and president of ParentCamp, a nonprofit dedicated to family/school engagement.
“It is an honor to be asked to be on the board,” Pile said. “I’ve had experience on the local level, and a lot of what we do on the local level is promogulated by the state level, so to be able to have a parent voice input at the state level is really important.”
Woods — a registered Democrat — is a former teacher, principal, and director of middle schools in Fayette County. She later became the superintendent of Campbellsville Independent. After retiring, she worked as a consultant for the Kentucky Center for School Safety and is a clinical educator at Georgetown College.
“As a native Kentuckian who received a great education in our public schools, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to work to ensure that current students in our great Commonwealth have the same experience,” Woods said.