Former Maine speaker gets education post

Posted April 07, 2009, at 11:04 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Former Maine House Speaker Glenn Cummings will join the Obama administration as a deputy secretary in the Department of Education.

The Portland Democrat said Tuesday he will be part of a team in the department to increase college access and career development for traditional and nontraditional students. During his campaign for president, Barack Obama spoke of the need to increase the number of Americans with college degrees.

Cummings was House chairman of the Legislature’s Education Committee before serving as speaker during the 2007-08 session. He sponsored legislation that requires all Maine high school students to apply for college.

Cummings is currently dean of institutional advancement for Southern Maine Community College.