Paul LaRue, a former history teacher at Washington High School, was recently elected as president of the Ohio State Board of Education.
According to the Hannah News Service, LaRue edged out District 7 member Christina Collins in an 11-7 vote.
LaRue, recently reappointed to the board by Gov. Mike DeWine for another four-year term, is a retired teacher from Washington Court House who has been the recipient of numerous state and national teaching awards, including American Legion Ohio Educator of the Year, Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Teacher of the Year, and Ohio Daughters of the American Revolution American History Teacher of the Year.
Nationally recognized, he received Time Warner’s National Teacher Award, the History Channel’s First Place “Innovation in History Education,” and the African American Civil War Memorial Teacher of the Year.
After the vote, LaRue told Hannah News that his immediate focus will be the priorities identified in the board’s FY24-25 biennial budget request – literacy, learning acceleration and workforce development.
“Those are easy marching orders. As a career classroom teacher, literacy – you can’t say enough about literacy,” he said.
LaRue did not express a position on the soon-to-return Senate Republican plan to overhaul education governance in Ohio, saying he’s yet to see a reintroduced version of the proposal.
“I value reform and change. The only thing constant in education is change,” he said.
LaRue told the Record-Herald, “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the State Board of Education. The board is a great group of folks, focused on positive outcomes for Ohio’s students, parents and their communities.”
LaRue was originally appointed to the State Board of Education as a member at-large by Gov. Mike DeWine in August 2020.
He grew up on a family farm in rural southeastern Fairfield County. He attended the Ohio State University, earning a B.S. in Social Studies Education. While at Ohio State, he was elected undergraduate student body president. He later earned his master’s degree in History Education from Xavier University.
In 1985, LaRue entered the classroom as a high school social studies teacher at Washington Court House High School where he remained until his retirement. He was the varsity wrestling coach, leading his team to two southeast division II sectional wrestling titles.
Since retiring, LaRue has continued to work with social studies teachers and create educational content for the Ohio World War I Centennial, The Black History Bulletin, and the National Park Service. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Black History Bulletin. He and his wife Kathleen live in Washington Court House.