The Kentucky Board of Education is seeking public input on traits it should consider when selecting Kentucky’s next commissioner of education.

Current Commissioner Terry Holliday announced in April that he is retiring, effective Aug. 31.

At a special board meeting on May 7, the board discussed a number of traits and characteristics that members
believe are important for the next commissioner to possess. Those have been assembled into a draft document on which the board would like public feedback. The board will consider the feedback before finalizing its list, which will be used for the job posting and to evaluate potential candidates.

Board members have stressed that their primary goal is to seek an individual who shares its commitment to
putting the needs and interests of students first and foremost and preparing them for success in their education, career and citizenship.

The board also identified the following overall expectations for anyone seeking the position:
• possesses the appropriate professional qualifications and passion to lead and champion the public education system of the commonwealth
• is primarily driven to advance student achievement and student success, a leader whose central focus is on
improving results for students, and a person who has a sense of urgency to reach educational equity for all
• exhibits the capacity to engage, involve, motivate, and inspire the educators who have assumed the
opportunity to educate the state’s next generation
• balances a combination of relentless focus on the student with that of managing the system to support the
people who are getting the work accomplished
• displays the highest moral and intellectual integrity, is honest and open, pursues difficult issues with a firmness of purpose, exhibits respect of others, shows consistency and depth of thought, and presents a deep appreciation and respect for diversity and inclusion

Additionally, the board has identified a number of specific traits that the successful candidate must possess.
Those qualities fall into three main areas: communication, knowledge and experience, and leadership and change management. A working draft of all of the characteristics for Kentucky’s next commissioner of education is available on the Kentucky Department of Education website. Those wishing to comment or provide additional input are encouraged to submit their feedback through an online survey. The survey will close at 5 p.m. ET on May 29.

The board is tentatively scheduled to finalize the traits and characteristics for Kentucky’s next commissioner of education during its regularly scheduled board meeting June 2 and 3 in Frankfort. Board members have indicated that they would like fill the position by the time Holliday leaves, but have said that hiring the right individual is the most important consideration.

The board has hired the Florida firm of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. to manage the commissioner of
education search.