On his last day of work before retirement, Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Education Dr. Jeffrey Fuller ’89 received a farewell gift honoring his work and his commitment to his alma mater.
Fuller studied Elementary Education and Communications at Grove City College and has been – over the course of a career that culminated in overseeing elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth – a friend to the College’s Education Department, chair Dr. Constance Nichols ’93 said at a brief ceremony Friday, June 30 at Carnegie Alumni Center on campus.
“Throughout Jeff’s career and leadership roles he has stayed in contact with the Grove City Education Department and returned to campus on numerous occasions to speak to students and help with departmental programming. From serving as a mentor to our students, helping them with mock interviews, being a keynote speaker at Education Department events, attending forums on campus, and even giving them his cell phone number, Jeff has always made time to give back to the Education program at Grove City College,” Nichols said.
Fuller has held various leadership roles in education across the K-12 landscape. Before joining the state Department of Education in 2021, Fuller served in administrative roles in Cranberry, Seneca Valley, and Freedom school districts. He began his career as a teacher in Newport News, Va. He has been deputy secretary for elementary and secondary education since 2022 and holds advanced degrees from Old Dominion and Duquesne universities.
Fuller’s colleagues wanted to give him a retirement gift that reflects his commitment to education and his appreciation for the College. “He doesn’t need another mug,” quipped Dr. Carrie Rowe, Fuller’s advisor at the state Department of Education and soon-to-be successor as the deputy secretary. Instead, they gathered their funds to “honor his legacy” and create the Jeffrey Fuller ’89 Fund to help provide Grove City College Education students with “opportunities that might not have otherwise had.”
“With the Fuller Fund established, the vision over time is to encourage others to contribute and create more opportunities for students to explore educational leadership and encourage them to serve, as Jeff has, elementary and secondary students,” Nichols said.
Fuller said he was honored and pleased the fund would encourage future leaders. “One of the most important things that I took on in my role as a leader was developing those who will follow,” he said. “Because what we do in education is so vitally important. If we are not training up those who will follow us in the right, then what’s going to be left?”
Fuller and his wife, Amy (Becker ’91) Fuller, offered a $500 matching gift for the Fund. His father, Arthur Fuller, was a professor of Sociology and Social Work at Grove City College in the 1980s.