When his time at Harvard ended, Caperton was offered a job at New York's Columbia University, where he taught doctorate-level courses in leadership at the university's world-renowned education school. That job didn't last long, however, as Caperton became president and CEO of the College Board in July 1999.
The association had 200 employees when he arrived. By the time he retired, the company had grown to around 600 employees. Caperton oversaw the expansion of the College Board's Advanced Placement program and a redesign of its SAT college admission test, adding a writing section to a test previously limited to multiple-choice questions.
He left the College Board for the same reason he left West Virginia more than 15 years ago: it was time to give someone else their turn.
Caperton is still working, at least for now, with an investment company that purchases education companies. The work still takes him away from the Mountain State quite frequently, but he hopes to be living here full-time in the next few years.
He is hopeful for West Virginia's future.
"I think we have an outstanding state school board," he said. "I think you're going to see improvements in education, which is critical to the future of our state and its people "
He said the current state Board of Education is goal-oriented and "unpolitical" with a good understanding of how education works.
"I've seen pettiness. I've seen unnecessary political infighting. I think today there's a real recognition that the work they're doing is the future of this state. I think this can be a really great time for education in West Virginia."
Caperton also commended Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and state lawmakers for passing a wide-ranging education reform bill during the recent legislative session. But he urged them not to be content with this year's progress.
"It isn't enough to decide every five or 10 years you're going to have education reform. It's got to be every day, every year.
"This is the beginning, not the end."
He does not plan to participate in the state's education system in any official capacity, but Caperton said he is interested in finding ways to help improve education and economic development in the state.
"I've always been involved here, but I'd like to be more involved," he said. "I think the work that I've done outside West Virginia helps me better understand what needs to be done here."
Once again, Caperton finds himself at a crossroads. He doesn't have any concrete plans. He plans to take some time and assess his options.
"It's kind of a time for me to get caught up and learn. I'm going to try to spend the next year finding where I can be helpful.
Given his history, he likely will not be looking for long.
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