The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) approved a candidate profile and job description in the search for a new education commissioner during a special meeting held on Dec. 14.
During the KBE regular meeting on Dec. 7, the board approved an agreement with McPherson and Jacobson LLC to lead the commissioner search. KBE Chair Sharon Porter Robinson said that since then, the board has shared data and feedback from education stakeholder groups with the firm to help in the search.
“This data, we felt, represented the heart of the matter, from their perspective, as we translate into the work of the board,” said Robinson.
Among the expectations for the new commissioner are:
- Knowledge of Kentucky’s public school system and the broader education landscape within the Commonwealth;
- Successful experience as a student-focused educator and educational leader, with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that education in Kentucky presents;
- A deep understanding of learning theory, curriculum and instructional practice;
- Being an accomplished professional with a proven track record in managerial roles who can demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, strategic vision and the ability to inspire and guide teams toward achieving organizational excellence;
- Strong communication and relationship-building skills with the ability to engage diverse statewide stakeholders in the planning and implementation of programs designed to improve opportunities and outcomes for all Kentucky children. This will include listening to the voices of students, teachers, families and communities;
- The ability to work collaboratively and inclusively with the KBE, state educational partners, the Kentucky General Assembly and school district leadership in developing and implementing the strategic goals of the state;
- A commitment to and a passion for inspiring each student for a successful life and improving learning opportunities for historically underserved children; and
- A dedication to maintaining a visible and approachable presence while exemplifying dignified leadership.
KBE Vice Chair Lu S. Young said she believes the expectations set the right tone for the search.
“I felt like it was comprehensive and that we struck the right chords in terms of setting a clear expectation of what and who we’re looking for in this process,” she said.
Steve Joel, regional director of McPherson and Jacobson, said the search has already gotten off to a quick start.
“You have already acquired a bunch of feedback and we intend to obtain some more just to make sure that we’re reflecting what’s currently occurring, but we’re in good shape,” said Joel. “This is a very good profile and we believe that we can recruit and certainly vet applicants against this.”
Joel said he expects the job posting to be up next week, with a deadline of Feb. 16 to submit applications.
The KBE also approved forming a special committee to review and evaluate responses to the commissioner vacancy posting. The committee will recommend a set of finalists to the full board.
The members of the interview committee are Young, JoAnn Adams, Patrice McCreary, Julie Pile, Randy Poe and Diana Woods, with Woods serving as chair.
For the latest information in Kentucky’s search for its next education commissioner, visit KDE’s 2023-2024 Commissioner of Education search website.