KBE lays out next steps in search of education commissioner

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 21:12:15-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Board of Education appointed three individuals to a team that will evaluate proposals from executive search firms vying to help the board find Kentucky's next education commissioner.

Board members Cody Pauley Johnson, Sharon Porter Robinson and Lee Todd will help the team view the proposals, which are being accepted until Jan. 24. The team is expected to make a recommendation to the full board at a special meeting on Feb. 12.

“We are anticipating an aggressive timeline for our search team,” said Robin Kinney, associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Finance and Operations.

“We’d like to, under ideal circumstances, have a new commissioner on board by July 1.”

Board Chair David Karem said the board is “committed to moving aggressively, quickly” and “very deliberately to get a new commissioner of education.”

Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown said the board will hold a special meeting in Louisville after the executive search firm is chosen to develop a list of the qualities they believe the next commissioner should possess. Brown is hopeful former Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit will facilitate that meeting, which he also did during the 2015 commissioner search.

To prepare for the search, the KBE directed the department to create a survey asking the public what qualities they want in a new commissioner. It will be released to the public next week and promoted to all Kentucky residents to get as broad a range of opinions as possible.

“This is something that has happened in the past,” Karem said. “We want to make sure people do have an opportunity to express their opinions about what the qualities ought to be for a new commissioner.”