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Utah guv names new education adviser

Published January 21, 2014 12:19 pm

Education • Tami Pyfer, a graduate of USU, has served on state school board since 2010.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The head of the state school board will give up her seat to become Gov. Gary Herbert's new education adviser. Herbert named Tami Pyfer, of Logan, as his new adviser on Tuesday.

Pyfer, who has served on the board since 2010, has worked in the College of Education at Utah State University as a research coordinator in the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education Department. And she is an adjunct faculty member in the school's Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation.

"Tami has seen our education system at work from every angle," Herbert said in a statement, "and she will provide valuable perspective as we work to reach our goal to have 66 percent of Utah adults with a college degree or certificate by 2020." 

Pyfer succeeds former adviser Christine Kearl, who held the position for 10 years. In the statement, Herbert said he appreciated Kearl's service.

Marty Carpetner, a spokesman for the governor, said it was an "amicable parting of ways and both parties agreed to go their separate ways." He said she left in December to pursue other opportunities.

Pyfer is a graduate of USU and has a bachelor's degree in special education and a master's degree in early childhood special education. She also served on the Logan City Council for eight years and on the Logan Schools Foundation Board of Directors for seven years. She spent seven years as the Foundation's executive director before becoming a foundation board member.

She said she's seen education from many perspectives, and she expects those experiences will help her in her new role. She said she hopes to continue the work started by the Governor's Education Excellence Commission and Prosperity 2020, a business-led initiative to boost education, to help meet the 66 percent by 2020 goal.

Pyfer said she begins in her new role Monday, the first day of the legislative session.

It will be up to the governor, with the consent of the Senate, to appoint a new board member to fill Pyfer's seat on the state school board. Also, current first-vice chair of the board, David Crandall, will become the new board chair, per the board's bylaws, said Mark Peterson, State Office of Education spokesman.