And then there were five.
The Kentucky Board of Education whittled down the list of candidates for the next state education commissioner on Tuesday, moving five applicants toward the finish line. And it could shorten that list to finalists when it meets again on Friday, according to media reports.
The board announced the names of the five Thursday afternoon. They are:
- Kathleen M. Airhart, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer for the Tennessee Department of Education;
- Buddy Berry, superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools, in Eminence, Ky.;
- Christopher A. Koch, former Illinois state superintendent;
- Lloyd D. Martin, CEO of Universal School Solutions, an education consultancy; and
- Stephen L. Pruitt, senior vice president at Achieve, Inc.
Current commissioner Terry Holliday announced in April that he is retiring at the end of August. He’s served as the Bluegrass State’s top K-12 official since 2009, and rose to prominence in education policy circles for overseeing the state’s transition to the Common Core State Standards.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the chairman of the education board, Roger Marcum, said members want to name a new commissioner “as soon as possible,” but they’re more concerned about “hiring the right person.”
Kevin Brown, the associate commissioner and general counsel, is slated to serve as interim commissioner until a new commissioner is named.
This blog post has been updated to include the names of the five candidates.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.