Elisabeth Dee “Betsy” DeVos, the 11th and current US Secretary of Education is a fighter for the small schools and a woman defined by her ambitions to give all families a chance at a better education. She has spent over 20 years working in Michigan to help fund small private and charter schools and bring initiatives to legislators in Lansing that favor fair education. In February of this year she was confirmed to her cabinet position in a close battle in the senate. But now that she’s in the federal position of leadership, she’ll be advocating for more school-of-choice legislation that allows children to attend any school regardless of zip code or county residence.
Betsy DeVos was born Betsy Prince, the daughter of Michigan billionaire Edgar Prince, the founder of the famous manufacturing company Prince Corporation. She attended Calvin College where he started becoming involved with conservative political action groups, but she became especially interested in freedom of education events. After graduating from Calvin College, she met and married Dick DeVos Jr., the son of Richard DeVos Sr. the cofounder of Amway and former aide to President Gerald Ford. Betsy became a mother to four children who also happen to be part of the reason she started education initiatives at the DeVos Foundation.
While sending her children to private school, Betsy DeVos saw how tough it was for other parents to keep their children in school while having little left over to pay the bills. The first project she got involved in was scholarship funds through Children First America and Education Freedom Fund. Several years later through an education campaign, Dick and Betsy started a campaign to make private schools more affordable by changing the Michigan state constitution to have a clause for vouchers and tax credits, but it was voted against. Betsy DeVos is a longtime supporter of charter schools and founded the Great Lakes Education coalition, and not long after she and Dick started an aviation charter school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy at the Grand Rapids airport.
In addition to her work in education, Betsy DeVos has helped build The Windquest Group, a company for investing in alternative businesses in Michigan. She also served as the chairperson for the Michigan Republican Party for 8 years originally being elected to the post in 1996, and then winning again in 2004. She’s also been on the finance board for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has also been a donor to Republican political candidates, including this last year’s primary candidates Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio. While President Trump was not originally supported by her, upon hearing that she would become the 11th Secretary of Education she proclaimed it an “honor” to work with his cabinet. Visit Betsy’s profile on twitter.com.