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Commissioner's Office

Virginia M. Barry, Commissioner
Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D.

Virginia M. Barry Ph.D. was sworn in as Commissioner of Education on June 1, 2009, and re-appointed on March 20, 2013. The New Hampshire Executive Council unanimously confirmed Governor Margaret Wood Hassan’s nomination to the position. The commissioner is responsible for the organizational goals of the department and represents the public interest in the administration of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative and instructional services to all public schools in New Hampshire. The commissioner has direct responsibility for school administrative units for promoting excellence in education and the provision of resources through state and federal programs for all students. Dr. Barry has recently been recognized nationally for supporting a more holistic assessment of student achievement in support of students being college and work ready.

Dr. Barry has over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, leader, tenured university professor, and provost and vice president for academic affairs. Her teaching interests are embedded in the principles of human development and educational leadership. Dr. Barry is deeply committed to collaborative leadership and works closely with the school and business communities to create open communication among stakeholders and create a culture of innovation and excellence. Commissioner Barry is committed to keeping the best interests of the children of New Hampshire at the forefront.

Dr. Barry currently is a member of a number of boards including the University System of New Hampshire, the Community College System of New Hampshire, The Business Round Table, and a number of private foundations. In September Commissioner Barry joined the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Board of Directors. She has received distinguished awards for outstanding teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and most notably the Harold Hyde Award for outstanding leadership. Most recently she received the President’s Award from the New England Association of Superintendents. This Award recognizes a person whose career has been dedicated to making the lives of kids better through a commitment to excellence in education and being an advocate for all children. Additionally, in 2012, Dr. Barry received the prestigious ASCD award for leadership and teaching and in 2011 and 2012 the NH Department of Education was the recipient of the Frank Newman Award for Outstanding Innovation in State Education Policy.

She received her B.S., from Florida State University and M.S., from Queens College City University of New York and State University of New York at Stony Brook., Ph.D. Florida State University with post-doctoral studies at New York University, Harvard and William and Mary.

Contact the Commissioner at or (603) 271-3144

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711