Kent will serve from April 3rd through June 30th as the Board plans to appoint a long-term interim state superintendent to begin July 1st.
On Wednesday, the Mississippi Senate voted to not confirm Dr. Robert Taylor as State Superintendent of Education by a vote of 21-31. Taylor had been on the job since January after being named to the post in November 2022.
By Thursday afternoon, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) had named Mike Kent as the Interim State Superintendent replacing Taylor.
Kent has served as Interim Deputy Superintendent at MDE since 2012.
MDE said Kent will serve in that role from April 3rd through June 30th. The Board has announced plans to appoint a long-term interim state superintendent to begin July 1st. The SBE will set a timeline for its search for a permanent state superintendent of education at a later date.
SBE Chair Rosemary Aultman said Kent has deep roots and experience in Mississippi’s public school system at the state and district level, adding that he is respected throughout the state for his wisdom and effective leadership.
“The Board is confident he will provide continuity in leadership of the Mississippi Department of Education during this transition,” Aultman said.
Mike Kent brings has over 40 years of experience working in public education in Mississippi as a teacher, coach, principal, superintendent and state administrator.
“Kent’s role at the MDE has included leadership training for superintendents and principals, overseeing the transition to the state’s A-F accountability system, leading legislatively mandated school district consolidations and supporting the state’s Districts of Transformation and Achievement School District,” MDE said. “During his tenure as superintendent of the Madison County School District, Kent ensured the district’s consistently high academic performance, passed three school bond referendums totaling close to $200 million and oversaw construction of 13 school campuses.”
Kent also served on the Board of Trustees of Holmes Community College between 2000 to 2011 as well as the executive boards of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Madison County Business League.