Loyola Alum and Adjunct Law Professor selected as state superintendent
Loyola press release - March 2, 2007
(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans alum and College of Law adjunct professor Paul Pastorek, was chosen Thursday as state superintendent of education, Louisiana's top overseer of public schools.
Pastorek, L’79, a New Orleans lawyer and experienced education policymaker, previously served as attorney and chair for the Recovery School District. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) selected Pastorek, 52, from three finalists by a vote of 10-1 during an emergency meeting. Although Pastorek comes from a strong background of working on education issues, he is a rarity among Louisiana school chiefs in that he has no experience as a classroom teacher or school administrator.
As superintendent, Pastorek will oversee 69 local school districts, encompassing more than 1,400 schools and approximately 650,000 students. In an address to the board, Pastorek cited several priorities, including raising teacher pay and devoting more attention to all parishes affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita—not just Orleans, which frequently holds much of the board's attention.
A 1979 graduate of Loyola University Law School in New Orleans, Pastorek also received his bachelor’s in finance from Loyola. From 2002 to 2004 he was general counsel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. As NASA's top attorney, Pastorek served under Administrator Sean O’Keefe, 1977 graduate of Loyola and now the chancellor of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Pastorek served on the Louisiana State Board of Education from 1996-2004. On his departure from the Board, Louisiana was noted as having the best rated statewide accountability program in the United States. Pastorek's professional affiliations include the Business and Public Contracts sections of the American Bar Association and he has been the recipient of numerous civic awards.
Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit-Catholic institution with a total student enrollment of 4,724 including 800 law students.