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State Board of Education to name new...

State Board of Education to name new Interim State Superintendent of Education

By: Anne Summerhays - May 18, 2023

Mississippi State Board of Education

The SBE will announce its timeline for the permanent state superintendent search this summer.

On Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) announced it will hold a special-called meeting on June 15 to consider the appointment of a new interim state superintendent of education effective July 1. 

The Board additionally voted to allow the individual who is named interim state superintendent to be eligible to apply for the permanent position.

“The SBE plans to announce its timeline for the state superintendent search this summer,” MDE said in a release.

Mike Kent

The interim state superintendent will succeed Mike Kent who was appointed to serve as short-term interim state superintendent from April 3 through June 30, 2023.

Kent was named interim superintendent on March 30th, a day after 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.

Following the Senate’s rejection of Dr. Taylor’s nomination, Rosemary Aultman, SBE Chair, said that the Board conducted a fair, competitive and rigorous application process to select the most qualified candidate to fulfill the duties of state superintendent of education.

“The SBE conducted a six-month, national search before voting unanimously on Nov. 21, 2022, to hire Dr. Taylor to serve as the state’s top public education official,” MDE said. “Dr. Taylor was selected through a competitive process from among 26 applicants from 15 states.”

Dr. Taylor, a 30-year veteran educator and deputy state superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, was named Superintendent of Education on November 21, 2022, following Dr. Carey Wright’s resignation. Dr. Wright retired on June 30, 2022 after a 50-year career in public education.

The next state superintendent must go through the same legislative confirmation process as Taylor where Senators will be asked to confirm the SBE’s selection. This will most likely take place during the 2024 legislative session assuming SBE has made a hire by that time.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: