BOISE, Idaho – Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra has named a new chief deputy to the Idaho State Board of Education.  

Ybarra, who was nominated for a second term in Tuesday’s primary elections, has appointed 45-year-old Peter McPherson to the chief deputy position. He replaces Pete Koehler, who retires on June 29.

“One of the qualities that make Superintendent McPherson stand out is his passion for supporting students to achieve and his focus on personalizing education,” Ybarra said in a prepared statement. “He also brings an innovative mindset born from the necessity of serving children in remote, rural areas as a well as broad educational leadership experience.”

McPherson currently is superintendent and federal programs director of the Challis School District, according to the news release, a position he has held since January 2014.

As chief deputy, McPherson will oversee day-to-day management of the department. He joins Deputy Superintendent Tim McMurtrey as the superintendent’s senior leaders in the education department.

McPherson said.

I knew early in my life that my calling was to serve children. What I’ve learned working in both public and private education systems is: Kids are kids and teachers are teachers. We all care about the children and want them to become successful adults and contributing citizens. We also both value the trust parents and the public place in us and we want to deliver a return on investment, whether it’s tuition or tax dollars.

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