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ABCTE Welcomes Patricia Brennan-Gac as Vice President of State and National Partnerships

WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2006)– Patricia Brennan-Gac has joined the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) as vice president of state and national partnerships, ABCTE President David W. Saba announced today.

Brennan-Gac most recently served as a director at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), where she oversaw the development and implementation of the National Educator Training and Leadership Center, a Baldrige-based, comprehensive leadership center for education leaders. Prior to her work at CCSSO, Brennan-Gac served as an official at the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Riley, and in several other education policy roles.

An attorney and education policy expert, Brennan-Gac will be responsible for developing ABCTE’s partnerships with national education organizations and expanding state recognition of the Passport to Teaching program. Funded through grants by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Congress, ABCTE offers national-level certification for new and experienced teachers. Because teachers with ABCTE certification are recognized as highly qualified, states that officially recognize Passport to Teaching as a route to state certification will take another step forward in meeting the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Brennan-Gac joins ABCTE at a critical time for the non-profit organization. With a new, more diverse board of directors, ABCTE is focused on providing non-partisan, non-ideological recruitment and certification solutions for states, ensuring that all students are served by excellent teachers.

“Patricia will help us achieve our mission of ensuring that our programs are fully implemented nationally,” said David W. Saba, president of the American Board. “She brings a strong knowledge of education policy and a passion for providing high quality services to schools, and her expertise will benefit us tremendously.”

In addition to bringing Brennan-Gac on board to head up state and national partnerships, ABCTE has implemented several reforms since Saba was appointed president in December 2005. For example, he recently announced that the organization would begin releasing aggregate candidate data and examination validity information. The organization has also launched a successful teacher recruitment campaign, working in partnership with school districts and non-profit organizations to attract more than 1,700 professionals to the Passport to Teaching program. To help educators, parents and the public understand the effectiveness of the ABCTE program, Saba also kicked off a major research initiative to study the effectiveness of Passport-certified teachers; the early results of this research will be unveiled in the spring of 2006.

“With its research-based model and a focus on student achievement, ABCTE has developed strong programs that will benefit states, teachers and students,” Brennan-Gac said. “I am pleased to join the American Board’s leadership team and look forward to helping write a new chapter in the organization’s history.”

For more information, visit For a high resolution digital photograph of Brennan-Gac, please call Colleen Corliss at 202-261-2636.


Patricia Brennan-Gac joined the American Board in 2006 as vice president of state and national partnerships. In this capacity, she will work to educate states and key stakeholders about ABCTE’s teacher recruitment and certification programs.

Patricia most recently served at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). She joined CCSSO in 2002 and worked for two years on the organization’s School Health Project. In 2004, she became the Director of the National Educator Training and Leadership Center (NET LC – In this position, she was charged with developing the technical requirements for a Web site that would serve a wide variety of education leaders and then leading the project’s development. She created a team to identify appropriate content and resources for the site and developed processes to ensure quality control. In addition, she managed all reporting requirements to the U.S. Department of Education for this project that was funded by Congress. She coordinated the site’s launch in July 2005 and developed its outreach and business plan to insure the site’s sustainability.

Patricia previously worked at the U.S. Department of Education. For two years she served in the Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, working with state and local elected officials and developing a monthly tracking and reporting system for state policies and legislative developments. She then moved to the Office of the Secretary, where she tracked education appropriations and legislation, supported the Department’s outreach initiatives to the education community, and served as the coordinator of the Department’s school construction initiative. From 1989-1992, Patricia worked in Washington, D.C. in several positions, administering communications and legislative programs and developing a background in non-profit management. While attending law school from 1993-1996, she worked in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., served as a researcher and author for the National School Safety Center in California, worked for Congressman Xavier Becerra in his California district office, and worked for Delegate Cheryl Kagan in the Maryland General Assembly.

Patricia is a graduate of the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and Pepperdine University’s School of Law. She spent her final year of law school as a visiting student at the Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, DC. In 1996, she was admitted as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. In 1997-1998, she served as a fellow of the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, DC.

Patricia lives in Montgomery County, MD with her husband and two young children. She is active in her son’s preschool, Kensington Nursery School, one of the oldest continuously operating cooperative preschools in the country.