National leader in competency education to join KnowledgeWorks team

Virgel Hammonds hired as Chief Learning Officer


In an effort to expand its work in the personalized learning and competency education space, KnowledgeWorks has hired Virgel Hammonds as its new Chief Learning Officer, the organization announced today.

As a national leader in competency-based education, Hammonds served as superintendent of RSU 2 School district in Maine. Throughout the past four years, he collaborated with five communities to develop and implement a curriculum designed to ensure mastery of standards by all students.

“Over the last four years, it has been an honor to serve our RSU2 family,” Hammonds said. “Five terrific communities have come together to form one amazing learning community that continues to support all children as they progress through an innovative, rigorous, learner-centered continuum. I look forward to working with KnowledgeWorks and schools around the country to continue building more learner-centered environments that help to grow and support all children.”

As KnowledgeWorks Chief Learning Officer, Hammonds will work with national policy makers and local learning communities throughout the country to redesign learning structures to become more learner-centered and based on proficiency, rather than seat time.

He will also work with KnowledgeWorks staff to build out competency education tools and services to help districts implement this personalized learning model.

“We are thrilled that Virgel is joining our team,” KnowledgeWorks President and CEO Judy Peppler said. “His passionate commitment to education and extensive experience as a pioneer in competency-based education will be invaluable to our organization as we work across the country to offer personalized learning experiences and opportunities to all students.”

Before serving as superintendent, Hammonds was a high school principal at Lindsay Unified School District in California. With 4,100 K-12 students in the district, 100 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch. There, Hammonds helped implement a personalized learning model where “learners” don’t earn letter grades, but rather are awarded mastery for subjects in which they’ve proven to be proficient.

Currently, Hammonds also serves on multiple boards and leadership councils: Innovation Lab Network Leadership Advisory Council; Jobs for Maine Graduates Executive Board; Literacy for Maine Board; Maine School Superintendents Executive Committee; Maine Academic Decathlon Executive Committee; Maine Healthy Communities Board; and International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) board.

Hammonds will officially start with KnowledgeWorks on July 1, 2015.

About KnowledgeWorks

KnowledgeWorks is a national nonprofit organization advancing a future of learning that ensures each student graduates ready for what’s next. For 20 years, we’ve been partnering with states, communities and leaders across the country to imagine, build and sustain vibrant learning communities. Through evidence-based practices and a commitment to equitable outcomes, we’re creating the future of learning, together.