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Aurora Institute
Virgel Hammonds, Aurora's CEO, smiles in his headshot. He is wearing glasses, a light blue shirt and blazer.

Virgel Hammonds

Chief Executive Officer


Virgel Hammonds, a nationally recognized leader in education innovation, joined the Aurora Institute as CEO in 2023 with over two decades of experience working alongside young people, educators, communities, districts, and policymakers as they endeavor to become more learner-centered. Having most recently served as Chief Learning Officer at KnowledgeWorks, Virgel has forged partnerships with national policymakers and local learning communities across the country to redesign learning systems to become more learner-centered. Prior to his time at KnowledgeWorks, Virgel served as superintendent of the RSU 2 school district in Maine, where he collaborated with five communities to develop and implement a curriculum designed to ensure mastery of standards by all students. Before serving as superintendent, Virgel was a high school principal at Lindsay Unified School District in California. There, Virgel helped implement a personalized learning model where learners didn’t earn letter grades, but rather are awarded mastery for subjects in which they’ve proven to be proficient.

Currently, Virgel also serves on multiple boards and leadership councils: PBLWorks Board; Jobs for Maine Graduates Executive Board; and Mastery Transcript Consortium Advisory Council. Additionally, Virgel is Board Chair Emeritus of the Aurora Institute and a former member of the CompetencyWorks Advisory Board. He is also a Deeper Learning Equity Mentor. 

Virgel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a Master of Education from Fresno Pacific University.