The Mississippi State Board of Education named Dr. Lance Evans as the next state superintendent of education in a special called meeting on Dec. 20, 2023. Evans currently serves as the superintendent of the New Albany School District.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the position of State Superintendent of Mississippi,” Evans said in a press release from MDE. “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 a 24-year veteran educator previously serving as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Oxford and Itawamba County school districts, principal and assistant principal of New Albany High School, and principal of New Albany Elementary School. Under Evans’ leadership as superintendent, New Albany’s efforts during the 2018-2019 school year earned the school its first A-rating. New Albany has maintained that rating every year since. The Mississippi Association of School Administrators named Evans as the 2023 Superintendent of the Year.
“Dr. Evans is a visionary leader who is committed to continuously improving student achievement,” MDE Board Chair Glen East said in the release. “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.”
The board selected Evans after a nationwide search that McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, led. The board also issued a statewide survey to collect public input about residents’ desired characteristics for the next state superintendent. The Senate must confirm Evans during its 2024 legislative session to complete the appointment.
The state has not had a permanent superintendent since the retirement of Dr. Carey Wright in 2022. Under Wright’s leadership, the state made historic gains in student achievement and implemented programs to decrease teacher shortages and improve early childhood education. Wright was appointed in 2013 and is one of the longest-serving superintendents in the state’s history. She is currently the interim state superintendent of education
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