Tom James, Chairman of the Vermont State Board of Education, announced today he will be stepping down from the Board. His final monthly meeting will be held September 15, 2009. James was appointed to the Board by Governor Douglas in February 2005 after filling two years of a vacant term. A retired IBM executive, James has served as a member of the Essex Planning Commission, the Essex Town School Board, the Essex Town Selectboard and the Essex Rotary. His State Board term was scheduled to end in 2011. However, State Board terms are six years in length, and James has served on the Board for over six years. He has served as State Board Chair since 2005.“I am both proud and humbled to have served on the Board for over six years, and I thank the Governor for appointing me twice to serve Vermonters,” said James. “Also, I am honored to have had my peers on the board elect me to serve as Chair for over four years. I am especially pleased to have participated in the initiation of the Transformation of Education in Vermont, which will ensure all students will be prepared when they graduate from high school to be successful in college, careers, and citizenship.”“I am deeply grateful for Tom’s dedicated service to the people of Vermont,” Governor Douglas said. “Because education is the foundation of a strong and prosperous society, Tom’s efforts will continue to pay dividends for our state for many years to come.” “Tom James has been an advocate for improving student learning and through his leadership has helped initiate a transformational movement that will provide Vermont’s schools with the tools needed to prepare our students for the 21st century,” said Commissioner Armando Vilaseca. “Tom has addressed the difficult issues facing our system with grace, respect and perseverance. He will be sorely missed both for his leadership but also for his commitment to our students.”It is expected that a new chair will be chosen at the September 15, 2009 meeting.