Dr. Steven Paine served as West Virginia's state superintendent of schools from 2005 to 2011. Under his leadership, West Virginia was nationally recognized for its 21st Century Learning Skills initiative, pre-kindergarten programs, school technology implementation, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts. Paine joined the West Virginia Department of Education in 2003 as Deputy State Superintendent of Schools after serving as county superintendent in Morgan County, West Virginia. Previously he served as curriculum director of Upshur County School in Buckhannonn, West Virginia. At the time of his Milken Educator Award, Dr. Paine was principal of Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School in Buckhannon—West Virginia's largest middle school—which he helped achieve the rare distinction of being a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School as well as an Education, Safe, Drug-Free School. Dr. Paine also assisted the West Virginia Department of Education in its implementation of the nationally acclaimed Responsible Students Program, through which 99 percent of his school's 1,050 students were recognized. By implementing the BUCS (Building Up Conscientious Students) program, Dr. Paine also significantly improved every aspect of education at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.