2020 Commissioner Search: Jason Glass, Ed.D.

By Sky Carroll

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) announced July 10 that Jason Glass will be Kentucky’s next commissioner of education.

“Dr. Glass was identified by the board as our next commissioner following a very extensive and productive national search,” said Lu Young, chair of the Kentucky Board of Education. “Throughout this process I have been overwhelmed by the integrity of the process and the quality of applicants for the position of commissioner.

“Dr. Glass’s extensive experience, including having served as the chief state school officer in Iowa and as a school superintendent with urban, suburban and rural school communities, along with a strategic vision and a track record for moving a school transformation agenda at the state policy level combine to make him a great fit for the Commonwealth.”

Glass has been serving as superintendent and chief learner for Jeffco Public Schools in the metro Denver area since 2017. Prior to that, he served as the superintendent of Eagle County Schools in Colorado and as Iowa’s Director of Education, serving as the chief state school officer from 2010 to 2013.

He was previously the senior director of human capital strategy with Battelle for Kids and has held district leadership posts in human resources and research and assessment, worked as vice president of Quality Ratings with Qualistar Early Learning, held several posts with the Colorado Department of Education; and worked as a university instructor while a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, teaching at UK and Georgetown College. Glass began his teaching career as a high school social studies teacher for Hazard Independent Schools. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated him to the National Board for Education Sciences.

On July 7, the KBE announced that it had selected a candidate to fill the position and would enter contract negotiations. Glass was one of three finalists interviewed for the position.

Young said since the final interview, she and Glass have been negotiating a contract she believes will be acceptable to the full board.

“I am circulating the contract I propose for adoption by the board and will ask to schedule a special called meeting for the purpose of adopting this contract, hopefully within the next week,” she said.

Glass will assume the position currently held by Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown. Upon his hire, the board agreed to Brown’s request that he would not be considered a candidate for the permanent position. Brown has been serving in the role since Dec. 18.

“My first action as governor was to overhaul the Kentucky Board of Education by reorganizing it with members who believe in our educators and our public schools – and today, after a national search, the board selected a new leader not based on politics, but on his vision for improving our public schools,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We welcome Dr. Jason Glass, our state’s new commissioner of education, back to Kentucky. Dr. Glass has deep roots in Kentucky education, and his years of public education experience in classrooms, as superintendent and state director of education will help ensure our children come first. Congratulations – now it’s time to get to work.”

As the leader of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the commissioner oversees the Bluegrass State’s K-12 school system and its 650,000 students, as well as acts as superintendent of the Kentucky School for the Blind, the Kentucky School for the Deaf and 53 area technology centers.

A native of Brandenburg, Ky., and a 1990 graduate of Meade County High School, he earned his doctorate in education leadership from Seton Hall University, a master’s in political science, a master’s in education and a bachelor’s in political science and history, all from the University of Kentucky.

As a third generation Kentucky educator, Glass is thrilled to be back in his home state and excited for the future of Kentucky public education.

“I am so incredibly grateful to the board for this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth and I am excited to embark on this effort to improve the future for all of Kentucky’s children,” Glass said. “Kentucky has given so much to me in a quality public education experience – the opportunity for a world-class university experience and a start to my professional career in the state. My wife Sarah and I look forward to relocating to the Bluegrass State and to our children growing up and going to public school in Kentucky.”

Glass is anticipated to begin his new role as Kentucky’s chief state school officer in September.