(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) heard from superintendents about traits they hope to see in the state’s next education commissioner during the Superintendents Webcast on Sept. 12.
Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) Chair Sharon Porter Robinson led the discussion, which centered around two questions:
- What qualities do you hope the Kentucky Board of Education will look for in the commissioner of education?
- What do you hope the new commissioner of education will prioritize in his or her first year?
Robinson said some themes emerged from the superintendents, especially around what they want the next commissioner to prioritize.
“Clearly, the priority is on funding needs and the education workforce crisis that we are all experiencing,” said Robinson.
Several superintendents highlighted communications skills as a top priority for the next commissioner.
“I would like for the next commissioner to be student-centered, have excellent communication skills, and (be) results-oriented,” said Denise Yonts, superintendent of Letcher County.
Several superintendents mentioned a desire to have a commissioner who can work with legislators in Frankfort to address some of their priorities, like increased funding for education and staff raises.
A Google Form provided to superintendents will be open for their input for the rest of the week, and the information collected will be shared with the search firm hired to help find the next commissioner.
More information on the search for a new commissioner can be found on the 2023-2024 Commissioner Search webpage.
The KBE is scheduled to meet Sept. 14 to name an interim commissioner.
Jason E. Glass previously announced he intends to step down as education commissioner on Sept. 29 to take an administrative position at Western Michigan University.
As it was Glass’ last Superintendents Webcast, he said he was thankful to the Commonwealth’s superintendents for welcoming him to their districts.
“You’ve given me the chance to serve you. In many cases, we’ve had phone calls, we’ve had emails, we’ve had handshakes and conversations at meetings where we’ve gotten things done together,” said Glass. “I’ve always appreciated your professionalism, the work that you do for students in the state, and (I) have gratitude for those relationships and friendships that I’ve built over these past few years.”
Update on LETRS Training
Registration recently closed for the second cohort of Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training, offered through the Kentucky Reading Academies.
This comprehensive, no-cost professional learning opportunity is open to all K-5 public school educators. The partnership is supported through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funding.
Micki Ray, chief academic officer in the KDE Office of Teaching and Learning, told superintendents that more than 2,600 educators have signed up for the second cohort of LETRS.
“I wanted to thank you for your willingness to share that information with your building administrators and teachers across your districts and we look forward to supporting (LETRS participants) as they move forward in the professional learning,” said Ray.
Including the first cohort of LETRS participants, more than 4,400 educators and administrators have signed up for the professional learning experience. Registration for a third cohort will open in the fall of 2024.
The Office of Teaching and Learning also is seeking members for the Health Education and Physical Education Standards Committee and public comment on current health and physical education standards.
- KDE also unveiled a new bus safety video featuring students from Woodford County Public Schools. The effort was a collaboration between the agency and the school district. Read more on Kentucky Teacher.
- Superintendents were told nominations are open for the 2023-2024 Kentucky Education Support Staff Professional Award. Eligible candidates must work in any of the following occupational specialties: paraprofessional, clerical and administrative services, transportation services, food and nutrition services, custodial and maintenance services, security services, health and student services, technical services, and skilled trades.