11/18/19: Commissioner Penny Schwinn

Dr. Penny Schwinn was sworn in as Tennessee’s education commissioner on February 1, 2019. As commissioner, Dr. Schwinn is committed to building on Tennessee’s momentum over the last decade, and plans to continue to accelerate growth through excellence in achievement, empowerment of students and teachers, and engagement of all stakeholders

Coming from a family of educators and committed to increasing access to an excellent education for all children, Commissioner Schwinn began her work as a high school history and economics teacher in Baltimore. Her early career also includes experience as a new teacher coach in south Los Angeles and time in the private sector, where she supervised work in operations, marketing and information management.

Prior to joining the Tennessee Department of Education, Commissioner Schwinn served as the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Academics at the Texas Education Agency, where she oversaw the Office of Academics and was responsible for the following agency departments: School Programs (including Early Childhood Education, Reading, and College, Career, and Military Preparation); the Deputy Commissioner of Special Populations and Monitoring (including Special Education); the Deputy Commissioner of Standards and Engagement (including Curriculum, Digital Learning, Assessment, and Performance Reporting); Research and Analysis; and Special Projects.