"Education has fundamentally changed my life. It's perhaps the mission of my life. I'm wed to it in a very powerful and personal way."
Throughout an exemplary career, one focal point has remained constant for Bev Perdue...the transformative power of education. She knows how one teacher, one lesson, one impactful moment can help a child realize his/her full potential and create an opportunity to change the trajectory of an individual's life. She knows this because she experienced first-hand how access to school was not always a given growing up in a rural Appalachia mining town. For Perdue, this confidence was instilled at an early age thanks to her 7th-grade teacher, a woman she still describes as the "star of her life". This moment led to a lifetime dedication to the pursuit of continuous learning and ensuring that others received the same education opportunities.
Today, Perdue continues to ceaselessly promote, improve and expand education efforts across all her endeavors. Always an advocate for technology in the classroom, she believes that the face of the economy and education is ever-changing and that school systems must evolve to meet the increasing demands of modern times. She remains focused on investment in innovative educational platforms, helping to build public-private partnerships to aid the integration of 21st-century technology into classrooms nationwide. As the job market increasingly changes across the country, requiring more and different skills, providing open access to post-secondary education remains essential for economic growth. The use of technology in teaching is the answer to broadening access for enabling lifelong learning for millions of Americans.
With this mantra in mind, Perdue established digiLEARN in 2014. A non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating digital learning for all ages. Its primary goal is to increase personalized learning options for students; expanding instructional opportunities for teachers and instructors; cultivate an economy that embraces education technology start-ups.
At home in New Bern, North Carolina, Bev, her husband Bob, and new puppy Lucy Mae, enjoy the laidback life along the banks for the Trent river full of events, history, art, friends, and family. She continues her work with a variety of organizations and boards, a few of which include:
- Managing Partner for Education at Ridge-Lane LP
- Senior Education Advisor for Whiteboard Advisors
- Founder and Chair for digiLEARN: Digital Learning Institute
- Data Quality Campaign
- National Assessment Governing Board
- Inside Track
- Education Post
- Western Governors University Advisor Board
Tenure as Governor
In 2008, Beverly Eaves Perdue was elected as the first female governor of North Carolina. As a public servant, this was the pinnacle of her more than 25 years in public service. A career, which also included two terms as Lieutenant Governor and seven terms in the North Carolina Senate and House. While in office, her administration was responsible for pioneering efforts to improve the state's educational system, economy, and political transparency and accountability. As governor, Perdue's efforts lead to the creation of more than 100,000 new jobs; injected $22.5 billion of corporate investment into the economy; maintained an AAA bond rating for four consecutive years. Throughout her administration, she created pro-education policies and programs, such as the "Ready, Set, Go!" agenda aimed at keeping students at grade level, improving graduation rates and increasing the number of students seeking post-secondary education. Perdue was also the first governor to implement statewide standards across all levels of education throughout North Carolina. By the end of her second term, North Carolina's graduation rate was over 80% for the first time in history.