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Lara Parker Major graduated from JMU in 1992 with a Bachelor's of Science in Education. Subsequently she earned her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia.

Lara began her career in education as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in Fairfax and Loudoun County Public Schools. After leaving the public schools, she became an adjunct instructor for the University of Virginia's School of Education and Human Development where she taught graduate courses in Reading Education. She spent over two decades as an educational consultant with Major Consulting, where she facilitated the professional development of teachers and helped school systems develop curriculum and assessment models.

Lara is currently a Director for All Ages Read Together (AART), a non-profit dedicated to educating children in need with free preschool programs in their communities. In addition, Lara works with AART advocating for equitable access to quality early childhood education for children throughout the Commonwealth. She also serves on the board of E3, a bi-partisan, statewide issue/advocacy organization for early education. Lara is the Vice President of 100WomenStrong, a community organization dedicated to providing strategic support to nonprofits addressing key issues in education, shelter, health and hunger. In addition, she is the Co-Chair of the Willowcroft Foundation, which funds public school STEM and World Language programs. Lara is a member of the James Madison University Board of Visitors where she has served as the Chair of the Academic and Student Life Committee, Vice Rector and Rector.

Lara met her husband, Eric, at JMU ('91). Together, they have treasured being a part of the JMU community, both as students and as engaged alumni. The Major's established the Lara Parker and Eric D. Major Fellowship Endowment for the College of Education as a way to support faculty and express their deep gratitude for the many professors who impacted their lives. Lara and Eric were the 2019 recipients of the Inez Graybeal Roop Alumni Service Award. They are the proud parents of two daughters, the oldest of whom graduated from JMU in 2020.

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