Dr. Lance Evans, the superintendent of the New Albany School District, was named the next state superintendent of education today by the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE).
Dr. Evans was chosen by the SBE following a nationwide search. On July 1, 2024, he will take over the role from Dr. Ray Morgigno, who was selected to act as the state superintendent of education in an interim capacity from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.
Dr. Evans, a senior educator of 24 years, has been the district head of the New Albany School District since 2017. The district received its first A-rating for the 2018–19 school year under his direction, and it kept its A grade for the next three years.
Prior to this, Dr. Evans was the principal of New Albany Elementary School, assistant principal of New Albany High School, and principal of New Albany High School. He worked as a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Oxford and Itawamba County school districts before coming to the New Albany School District in 2006.
Dr. Evans represents the state on the national governing board of the Mississippi Association of School Administrators and is the recipient of the 2023 Superintendent of the Year award. He graduated from Itawamba Community College with an associate’s degree, Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s, the University of Mississippi with a master’s, Delta State University with a doctorate, and a specialist degree.
Glen East, head of SBE, stated of Dr. Evans, “He is a visionary leader who is committed to continuously improving student achievement.” “Dr. Evans satisfies all of our expectations, and the Board is pleased to have received widespread public input regarding the attributes and priorities the next state superintendent of education should possess.”
In order to gather public feedback on the qualities they would want to see in the future state superintendent, the SBE conducted a statewide poll in collaboration with the consulting company McPherson & Jacobson, LLC. Members of the board evaluated applications, some of whom were from Mississippi and a few other states, using the survey data. Dr. Evans was chosen as the finalist by the SBE after interviewing four semifinalists. The appointment procedure cannot be completed until the Senate confirms the nomination during the 2024 legislative session.
Until Dr. Evans takes over, Dr. Morgigno will remain the acting state superintendent of education, overseeing the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).
Chairman East stated, “The Board is deeply indebted to Dr. Morgigno for stepping in to lead the MDE during a critical time.” “His initiatives are advancing the goals of the State Board Strategic Plan, and his steady leadership has maintained the momentum of continued student achievement.” The Board is appreciative of Dr. Morgigno’s leadership for the balance of the academic year.
Dr. Morgigno gave the MDE staff credit for upholding strict standards for teachers and students as well as for giving them the assistance they needed to achieve those requirements.
According to Dr. Morgigno, “the MDE has an amazing staff that is laser-focused on our mission to improve opportunities and outcomes for every child in the state.” “Over the next six months, we will be relentlessly pursuing all of the agency’s priorities and initiatives to guarantee that Dr. Evans is well-positioned for success.”
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