By Rebecca LaFlure

The Cove Herald

Gov. Rick Perry appointed long-time Lampasas resident Gail Lowe as the new chairwoman of the State Board of Education Friday.

She replaces Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, an ardent creationist whose re-nomination was rejected by the Texas Senate this spring.

Lowe, also a conservative Republican, has served on the 15-member board for seven years.

She's co-publisher of the Lampasas Dispatch Record and is a past trustee for the Lampasas Independent School District.

The governor's office asked her to apply for the position last week, she said.

"I'm sure honored to be asked," Lowe said Friday. "I'm sort of a background person, so from that standpoint, it is somewhat of a surprise. I don't think I'm the person many people expected to be picked."

In recent weeks, speculation arose that outspoken Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, would be the governor's choice.

Perry said in a statement Friday that Lowe has "shown exemplary leadership and commitment to the education of young Texans."

Lowe has three children, and the youngest attends Lampasas High School. She's also a member of the Lampasas Chamber of Commerce.

"My goals have always been to improve the academic environment for students in Texas public schools," Lowe said. "I will continue that emphasis."

The board's focus for the next six months will be to review the state's social studies curriculum, she said.

Lowe's term expires February 2011.

Contact Rebecca LaFlure at or (254) 501-7548.

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