Penny Schwinn, Ph.D., has been the state of Tennessee’s commissioner of education since 2019. In this role, her goals are to continue to accelerate growth through excellence in achievement, empower students and teachers, and engage all stakeholders. Schwinn began her education career as a high school history and economics teacher in Baltimore. Her early career also included 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, Schwinn served as the chief deputy commissioner of academics at the Texas Education Agency, and held roles as an assistant secretary of education in the Delaware Department of Education and the assistant superintendent of performance management for the Sacramento City Unified School District. She’s also the founder and former superintendent of Capitol Collegiate Academy, a charter school serving low-income students in Sacramento. Schwinn was also an elected trustee for the Sacramento County Board of Education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s from Johns Hopkins University; and a Ph.D. in education policy from Claremont Graduate University.