Board Term: Jan. 1, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2021
Donna Bahorich, a Houston Republican, was named chair of the State Board of Education by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 18, 2015. The governor reappointed her to a subsequent two year term as chair on Jan. 24, 2017.
Bahorich was elected to the state board as the District 6 representative in 2012 and 2016. She initially took office on Jan. 1, 2013. Bahorich is now a member of the board's Committee of School Finance/Permanent School Fund, which oversees the country's largest educational endowment and establishes critical financial and auditing policies.
She was previously served on the board's two other standing committees - the Committee on Instruction, which oversees issues such as curriculum standards, instructional materials, innovative courses and career and technical education, and the Committee on School Initiatives, including serving as chair of that committee for two years. This committee oversees agenda items related to State Board for Educator Certification rules, and the appointment of school board members for those districts located on military bases. Additionally, Bahorich was a member of the Long-Range Plan for Public Education Steering Committee.
After graduating from Virginia Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in financial management, Bahorich went to work in the telecommunications industry. She was first employed by the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company, under the AT&T umbrella, and later transferred to Mountain Bell. During her time at Bell, she handled multi-million dollar contracts and earned recognition as one of the top five district manager candidates in the company. She also served as a loaned executive to the United Way in her community.
In 1990, Bahorich earned a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Liberty University.
In 2005, Bahorich became the campaign manager for Dan Patrick during his first run for a state senate seat. She subsequently worked as the district director, campaign treasurer, and communications director for Sen. Patrick. Bahorich was named the Senate District 7 Volunteer of the Year in 2007. She also served as the 2010 Harris County Republican primary director, assigning polling locations and assembling election personnel for 885 precincts for primary and runoff elections.
An active community volunteer, Bahorich is a member of the American Leadership Forum-Houston, Education Class 43 and Conservative Leaders of America. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has recognized Bahorich multiple times for her work with the community, including the 2017 State Director's Leadership Medal, 2018 Leadership Award, and the 2019 Consensus Builder Award.
Bahorich received the Friends of Education Award from the Texas Computer Education
Association (TCEA) on Feb. 6, 2019. TCEA recognized Bahorich for championing
the use of technology to transform teaching and learning and her
advocacy for creating machine readable Texas Essential Knowledge and
Skills (TEKS) to assist in the standardization of digital instructional
She has served as a member of the West Houston P-16 Council; graduated from the Leadership Houston program; served as president of the Daughters of Liberty Republican Women; and as a member of the pastor’s council at Houston Vineyard Church.
Bahorich and her husband have three sons and six grandchildren.
As the District 6 representative, Bahorich represents part of Harris County.