The Mississippi State Board of Education has named Mississippi native Lance Evans as the next state superintendent.
Evans, the current superintendent of the New Albany School District, would assume the position in July of 2024 if confirmed by the state Senate.
He will replace Ray Morgigno and Mike Kent, the two interim superintendents who have led the Mississippi Department of Education since the Senate rejection of Robert Taylor. Taylor was selected through a national search process last year to replace outgoing State Superintendent Carey Wright.
Evans’ 24-year career in education spans multiple leadership roles in the New Albany School District, including principal of New Albany High School and Elementary School. He has led the district since 2017, earning an A rating every year since 2019 and implementing a workforce development initiative. Before joining the New Albany School District, he also worked in the Oxford and Itawamba County school districts.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the position of State Superintendent of Mississippi,” he said in a statement. “My commitment to fairness, equity, and innovation in education aligns seamlessly with the values of this great state. I look forward to collaborating with educators, stakeholders, and communities to forge new pathways for our graduates, ensuring every student has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”
Evans is the 2023 Mississippi Superintendent of the Year and has served on the boards of multiple professional organizations for school administrators. He holds degrees from Itawamba Community College, Mississippi State, the University of Mississippi and Delta State.
At the time of publication, MDE communications said they did not know what Evans’ salary would be. Both Taylor and Wright received a salary of $300,000.
McPherson and Jacobson, a national superintendent search firm based in Nebraska, conducted the search on behalf of the board. The firm also led the search last year which resulted in Taylor’s selection and oversaw this one as an extension of its initial contract. The firm received $51,200 in total for its services.
“Dr. Evans is a visionary leader who is committed to continuously improving student achievement,” said Glen East, board chair. “The Board sought broad public input about the qualities and priorities the next state superintendent of education should have, and Dr. Evans meets all of our expectations.”
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