Mayor Coleman announced today that he has appointed Jane Eastwood as the new
education director. Eastwood succeeds Vallay Varro, who is leaving to serve as
the executive director of the new education group, MinnCan. Eastwood, who
previously worked as vice president of advancement for Scholarship America,
will assume her duties as education director on December 15.
“Jane has proven herself to be an innovative leader with the experience
necessary to support our youth. Her guidance will be essential as we work to
close the achievement gap and further Saint
Paul as a national model for out-of-school-time
programming,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.
“Learning is essential at any age and I'm excited to help Saint Paul provide the education and learning
opportunities necessary to prepare our youngest for school, our youth for the
workforce and our adults for all of life's changes,” Jane Eastwood said.
As education director, Eastwood will draw from an extensive
background in public and non-profit sectors. In her role with Scholarship
America, she managed a one million dollar budget as well as oversaw the
organization’s annual fund, major gifts, scholarships and grants. Her work
furthered the organization in its efforts to provide scholarships for two
million students nationwide.
Eastwood holds a bachelor’s degree
in psychology from Macalester College and masters of fine arts in creative writing
from Hamline University. Prior to working with
Scholarship America, Eastwood served as director of external relations and partnerships
for Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Libraries where she spearheaded new
programs in K-12, early literacy and adult/senior education, immigrant services
and workforce development.
Previously, Eastwood was part of the team that
brought the Science Museum of Minnesota to its downtown Saint Paul location as well as working to
grow the organization’s attendance by 30 percent while increasing memberships
by 50 percent in the process. As a project manager for the Saint Paul
Department of Planning and Economic Development from 1982 – 1988, Eastwood
played a role in creating the Actors Theatre, which is now the Park Square
Theatre, and helped bring the U.S. Olympic Festival to the Twin Cities in 1990.
In addition to this work, Eastwood has held
leadership positions on various boards, including: Outfront Minnesota, Park
Square Theatre and the Saint Paul Arts, Culture and Entertainment Task Force.