Kentucky Board of Education to meet next week to authorize contract negotiations to hire Dr. Stephen Pruitt as state’s next commissioner of education

KSBA eNews Service, Frankfort, Sept. 18, 2015

Tentative start date for state’s next K-12 chief is Oct. 16; plans made for public introduction Oct. 6 in Frankfort
Staff report

If all goes as expected, Dr. Stephen L. Pruitt officially will begin using his new title - commissioner of education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky– on Friday, Oct. 16.

Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Roger Marcum told eNews Thursday in an email interview that he expects to call the state board into special session next week for the purpose of authorizing him to work out an employment contract with Pruitt. At this time, the meeting is tentatively set for Wednesday.

“I expect the background check to be complete very soon so the KBE can meet next week to formally vote on the selection of Dr. Pruitt and to authorize me to begin contract negotiations. Our timeline still calls for approval of that contract at the beginning of the Oct. 6 meeting. Dr. Pruitt and his family plan to attend,” Marcum said.

On Sept. 4, the state board designated Pruitt as the final candidate in its four-month search for a successor to retired Commissioner Terry Holliday. Since then, an executive search firm specializing in deep background checks has been completing a personal review of Pruitt for the KBE.

Pruitt has worked in the nation’s capital for Achieve, Inc. since 2010, rising to his current post of senior vice president. In that role, he has worked with state education officials on development of English/ language arts, math, and science Common Core standards. He assisted KDE staff in creating the state's new core science standards and related classroom materials.
Pruitt started his career in education in 1991 as an AP and college prep chemistry teacher at a high school in Tyrone, Ga. He taught AP chemistry and gifted chemistry while he was department chair at a Fayetteville, Ga. high school until 2003.
In 2003, Pruitt joined the Georgia Department of Education as a science and program manager. He later served as the agency’s director of academic standards, associate superintendent for assessment and accountability, and chief of staff.

Marcum also said that Pruitt’s tentative start date for an agreed-upon contract – and his first day on the job at the Department of Education – would be Friday, Oct. 16.

Since Holliday’s Aug. 31 retirement, Associate Commissioner and General Counsel Kevin C. Brown has been serving as interim commissioner of education.

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