Two Appointments to the Virginia State Board of Education

chalkboardGovernor Bob McDonnell announced today two appointments to the Virginia State Board of Education. McDonnell named Betsy Beamer, a former Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Dave Foster, former Chairman of the Arlington County School Board, to the Board.   Both appointments were effective January 30, 2010.   It is anticipated they will be sworn in within the next 10 days and the appointments are subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.

Speaking about the appointments, Governor McDonnell noted, “Betsy and Dave know firsthand the importance of ensuring every Virginia student gets a world class education.   They understand it both as parents and as long-time leaders in the public life of our Commonwealth. Betsy has served Virginia in positions ranging from Secretary of the Commonwealth for former Governor George Allen to her current post as a board member of the PTA at Pinchbeck Elementary School in Henrico County. Dave is a former Chairman of the Arlington County School Board, and we worked closely together when he served as a member of our Youth Internet Safety Task Force in the Office of the Attorney General.   Betsy and Dave are dynamic, innovative and dedicated advocates for educational excellence in every community, and for every child, in our Commonwealth.”

Below are full biographies of today’s appointees.

Betsy D. Beamer

Betsy served as Virginia’s Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor George Allen from 1994-1998.

Betsy is past chair and a current member of the Salvation Army of Metro Richmond. She has served on the Board of Visitors of Radford University, served as vice-chair of the Virginia Public Access Project and served on the boards of Prevent Blindness Virginia, Project Exile – Safe Neighborhoods and the Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital Foundation.   Betsy is currently on the PTA board at Pinchbeck Elementary School where she coordinates a tutoring program called “Homework Helpers.”   She is also an active volunteer at Byrd Middle School.

Betsy is a graduate of Giles High School and Radford University.


David M. Foster

Dave began his public service career in 1975 as Legislative Assistant to Republican Congressman Robert Daniel, Jr. of Virginia’s Fourth District.   He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and its Law School and has practiced law since 1981 with the international firm of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP.     He has been a partner there since 1990, representing clients before federal and state courts and agencies in antitrust, consumer protection, and other matters.

A native and long-time resident of Arlington, Virginia, Dave was elected to the countywide Arlington School Board in 1999.   He was reelected in 2003 with more than 62 percent of the vote.   As a two-term Chairman of the School Board, Dave focused on reducing class sizes and improving school safety.   During Dave’s chairmanship, Arlington added classes in the strategically important languages of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese.   He also served on the Virginia Attorney General’s Internet Safety Task Force, which worked to protect children against online sexual predators and cyberbullies.

Dave has been married for 29 years to Martha Foster, who began her career with Illinois Republican Congressman Phil Crane.     She is the Director of the Resurrection Lutheran Weekday Preschool in Arlington.   Dave and Martha attend Mount Olivet United Methodist Church and are the proud parents of two children, who attend Virginia colleges.   Dave and his family have been involved in numerous community nonprofits, advisory committees, PTA’s, and other causes.