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. Her term as the leader of the 15-member elected board continues through Feb. 1, 2019.
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 on Instruction, which oversees issues such as curriculum standards, instructional materials, innovative courses and career and technical education.
Bahorich was previously a member of 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. She also served as a member of the board's Ad Hoc Committee on the Long-Range Plan for Public Education.
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. She was the recipient of the League of United American Citizens (LULAC) State Director's Leadership Medal in February 2017. 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.