Commissioner search 2023-2024 graphic(FRANKFORT, KY) – The contract between the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the executive search firm that will lead the search for Kentucky’s next education commissioner has been finalized.

The contract was signed Dec. 5 by representatives of KDE and McPherson and Jacobson LLC, which was previously identified as Vendor A during a Nov. 28 special meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education

The contract calls for McPherson and Jacobson LLC to:

  • Identify potential candidates in accordance with criteria established by the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE);
  • Assimilate, review and screen candidate submission for qualifications and eligibility;
  • Meet and/or consult with the KBE to select candidates for interview;
  • Conduct detailed background checks on each candidate selected for interview, including but not limited to criminal history, employment history, and public controversies;
  • Work with the KBE through the interview process; coordinating and scheduling candidate interviews; and preparing written recommendations and evaluations for each candidate

The contract is effective through June 30, but subject to renewal, with total cost not to exceed $65,250. Representatives from the firm attended the Dec. 7 KBE meeting.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are to work with you on this most important task,” said Steve Joel, regional director of McPherson and Jacobson, who personally has conducted more than 100 national searches since joining the firm in 1996.

Joel said there is already quite a bit of interest in the Kentucky commissioner of education role and hopes to have the position advertised before the holidays.

“You’re going to get first-round draft picks and this will be a premier job in the country, certainly within your state,” said Joel.

McPherson and Jacobson LLC has been conducting national searches for boards of education since 1991. The firm has placed more than 750 superintendents and other officials in public and non-profit organizations across the country.

Joel said the goal is to hire an education commissioner in Kentucky by July 1.

View the full contract between KDE and McPherson and Jacobson LLC here.

For the latest information in Kentucky’s search for its next commissioner, visit KDE’s  2023-2024 Commissioner of Education search website.