Woodson resigns from Tennessee Senate; named CEO of SCORE

Woodson resigns from Tennessee Senate; named CEO of SCORE

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Sen. Jamie Woodson (source: Tennessee General Assembly) Sen. Jamie Woodson (source: Tennessee General Assembly)

NASHVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville Republican Jamie Woodson announced Thursday she is resigning from the Tennessee Senate.

Woodson, 39, a member of the Senate Education Committee and Senate speaker pro tempore, has been named president and CEO of the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).

The collaborative is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization chaired by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Woodson will advise SCORE's Board of Directors, steering committee and partner organizations in her new role.

SCORE's goal is to ensure that every Tennessee child graduates high school prepared for college or the workforce.

Sen. Woodson began serving on SCORE's steering committee in 2009.

The governor will call for a special election to replace Woodson since it will be more than 12 months until the regular election in 2012. The hope is that this will coincide with the city elections this year in September and November.

Knox County Commission can appoint someone to fill the seat until the person who wins the special election is sworn in.

Commission Chairman Mike Hammond says he's interested in serving, but hasn't decided for certain whether to pursue the appointment.

As a senator, Woodson served in 2010 on Tennessee's five-member Race to the Top pitch team. They helped secure the more than $500 million grant Tennessee received from the U.S. Department of Education.

Woodson writes in a statement, "While I will sincerely miss representing you as your state senator, I believe that this is a natural continuation of the work in which I have been engaged and gives me the opportunity to dedicate 100 percent of my efforts to improving public education in our state. Tennessee has become a national leader in education reform, and I am excited to continue my public service by being on the front lines of improving public education at such a critical time."

Her resignation becomes effective on July 1 or when the current legislative session adjourns, whichever comes first.

Woodson has served in the Legislature for 12 years. She has been in the Senate since 2005. Before that, she was a state representative for six years.

She says she and her husband, Bill Woodson, Jr., will still have their primary residence in Knoxville.

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