Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Appoints Deputy Secretary of Education Cabinet

Press Release Date:  Thursday, February 16, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Kim Saylor Brannock
502-564-6606, ext. 130

Former Commissioner Laura Owens accepts appointment

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today the appointment of Laura E. Owens of Frankfort as deputy secretary of the Education Cabinet. Owens will continue to oversee the Education Cabinet’s Department for Workforce Investment as acting commissioner.

“Laura will expand her role at the Education Cabinet as she accepts the position of deputy secretary,” said Governor Fletcher. “Her high level of knowledge and expertise in workforce training and education has served us well in the cabinet’s Department for Workforce Investment and I am sure that Laura will continue to enhance our efforts to educate Kentuckians.”

The Kentucky Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. Owens replaces Mardi Montgomery, who left Jan. 15 to accept the programs director position with the Pulaski County Schools.

“It is an honor to accept the position of deputy secretary in the Education Cabinet in the Fletcher administration. I look forward to serving the citizens of the commonwealth as both the cabinet’s deputy secretary and acting commissioner of the Department for Workforce Investment. I have enjoyed my work as commissioner and I am delighted to continue working with Education Cabinet Secretary Virginia Fox in this important cabinet. Strengthening Kentucky’s educational system and equipping our workforce for future challenges is essential to developing a healthy robust economy in our commonwealth,” said Owens.

Owens has served as commissioner of the Department for Workforce Investment since May 2004. Before joining Kentucky state government, Owens was curriculum coordinator and instructional specialist for the Barren County School District. She also was a communications consultant focusing on leadership training. She served as an elected city council member in Glasgow from 2003 until she became commissioner.

Owens holds bachelors’ degrees in communication and English and a master’s degree in communication from Western Kentucky University.

She is married to Donnie Owens, principal of Elkhorn Elementary School in Frankfort, and they have two children and one grandchild.