Paul Pastorek

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Paul Gregg Pastorek

Louisiana Superintendent of Education
In office
March 2007 – May 2011
Preceded by Cecil Picard
Succeeded by Ollie Tyler (interim)

Born June 27, 1954
Anchorage, Alaska Territory

Reared in New Orleans, Louisiana

Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Kathleen "Kathy" S. Pastorek
Children Ryan Paul Pastorek

Jeffrey Thomas Pastorek
Kaitlin Pastorek
Rene August and Mary Jane Rogers Pastorek

Residence Maricopa County, Arizona

Formerly: Ashburn, Loudoun County, Virginia
Formerly: New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Alma mater De La Salle High School

(New Orleans)
Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Occupation Attorney

Education and defense specialist

Religion Christian

Paul Gregg Pastorek (born June 27, 1954)[1] is the president and chief executive operator of the University of Arizona Global Campus in Chandler in Maricopa County, Arizona. [2] An attorney and educator, he was from 2007 to 2011 the state superintendent of education, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was appointed to the position by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), of which he had been one of three appointed members from 1996 to 2004. BESE sets and monitors state education policy.


Pastorek, the oldest of six children, was born in Anchorage, Alaska, prior to statehood,[3] to Rene August Pastorek (1930-1997) of New Orleans and the former Mary Jane Rogers (1932-2016), a native of Kingsland in Cleveland County, Arkansas.[4] He was reared in New Orleans,[5] where he graduated from De La Salle High School, Loyola University, and the Loyola College of Law and was admitted to practice law in 1979.[6]

Pastorek had a long-term association with the law firm Adams and Reese, based in the New Orleans office of the firm.[7] From 2002 to 2004, he was the general counsel to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a position to which he was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush. At NASA, he was an advisor to the then administrator, Sean O'Keefe. In 2004, Pastorek was instrumental in directing the team which developed NASA's reorganization plan. There he received NASA's Exceptional Achievement and Distinguished Service medals.[8]In 2004, he left NASA and formed Next Horizon, a statewide non-profit organization and think tank on educational issues based in Baton Rouge.[9]

He and his wife, Kathleen S. Pastorek, have three grown children, Ryan Paul Pastorek, Jeffrey Thomas Pastorek, and Kaitlin Pastorek.[6]

Educational matters

Pastorek was appointed in 1996 to BESE - eight other members are elected by districts - by the incoming Republican Governor Murphy James "Mike" Foster, Jr.[8] From 2001 to 2004, Pastorek was the BESE president, chosen by his ten colleagues.[9]

As education superintendent, Pastorek worked to establish more charter schools, to increase private funding in education, and to strengthen school accountability with the goal of a reduced dropout rate and greater academic achievement. The state legislature]] in 2003 created the Recovery School District to assume control of those schools deemed academic failures for four consecutive years. In New Orleans, 107 of the lowest-performing public schools were placed under the RSD umbrella in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Pastorek drew criticism for his educational reforms from local school boards, state legislators, and teacher's unions, many of whom claimed that he lacked interest in their concerns about educational policies.[10]

Pastorek resigned as superintendent to become chief counsel and corporate secretary for the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company), since renamed Airbus Group, Inc. The defense contractor firm is headed by Sean O'Keefe, the former chancellor of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and the former NASA director, with whom Pastorek had earlier been a colleague. Airbus headquarters are outside Washington, D.C., in Herndon, Virginia, with a second location in Ashburn in Loudoun County, where Pastorek resided while in that job.[10]

In 2013, Pastorek came to the defense of later superintendent John White, who implemented the failed Common Core program in Louisiana despite reservations from various groups who fear federal intervention. At a conference in Washington, D.C., Pastorek said that the plan was originally proposed by state superintendents from across the nation, not by the United States Department of Education. Common Core, he said, is not a matter of indoctrination of school children in liberal politics but in establishing needed standards and achievement.[11]

In February 2021, Pastorek assumed the presidenty of the University of Arizona Global Campus.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Paul Pastorek. Retrieved on November 26, 2022.
  2. Paul Pastorek. Retrieved on November 26, 2022.
  3. Paul G. Pastorek. Retrieved on November 26, 2022.
  4. Mary Jane Rogers Pastorek obituary. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (August 17, 2016). Retrieved on November 26, 2022.
  5. "New Orleans Public Schools: Recovery & Reform, Education Week, August 20, 2007, accessed June 4, 2014; article no longer on-line.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Paul Pastorek's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 27, 2020.
  7. "Former Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance - J. Robert Wooley Joins Adams and Reese," Adams and, February 20, 2006, accessed June 4, 2014; information no longer on-lin.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Paul Pastorek Louisiana’s State Superintendent of Education, Public Broadcasting Service, June 4, 2014; information no longer on-line.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paul Pastorek: Biography: Former Louisiana State Superintendent of Education & Member Emeritus,", accessed June 4, 2014; information no longer on-line.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sean Cavanaugh (May 11, 2014). Paul Pastorek Resigns as School Superintendent in Louisiana.
  11. Will Sentell, "Pastorek: Common Core criticism no surprise," The Baton Rouge Advocate, October 31, 2013.