2020 Commissioner Search

By Jacob Perkins

After two days of interviews July 6-7, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) has identified a candidate for contract negotiations to fill the role of Kentucky’s next commissioner of education.

The three candidates who interviewed for the position were Jason Glass, Ed.D., Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D., and Felicia Cumings Smith, Ed.D.

The KBE retained Florida-based Greenwood/Asher in March to lead the search for the next commissioner. The firm developed ads and accepted applications and nominations through May 31.

Upon returning to open session during the July 7 meeting, the members unanimously approved a motion to direct board chair Lu Young to begin the negotiation process with the identified individual.

Throughout the search, the board and search firm made more than 211 contacts, received 49 nominations, reviewed 46 applications and interviewed 11 candidates on June 11-12. The board initially narrowed their search to six candidates on June 12 and then down to four on June 25. Glass, Helig and Smith chose to continue with the second round of interviews.

If the identified candidate accepts the role, they 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.

A new commissioner is expected to be named in mid- to late July.

The KBE will meet again on July 10.


Kentucky’s 2020 Commissioner of Education search website