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State Board Announces New Missouri Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 12:00

The State Board of Education announced on Tuesday that Margie Vandeven has been hired to return to her role as the state’s commissioner for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Vandeven will begin her duties on January 2, 2019.

“I am grateful to the State Board of Education for entrusting me with the responsibility of serving as Missouri’s commissioner of education,” Vandeven said. “It is an honor to return to the department, and I remain committed to doing what is best for the children of Missouri. I look forward to working with stakeholders from across our state – urban, rural and suburban. Through active collaboration among state and local leaders, educators and our families, we will – together – advance opportunities for each student.” (Read Dr. Vandeven's full statement here)

Vandeven initially became Missouri’s sixth Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education on Jan. 1, 2015, and served in that position for nearly three years. She began her education career in 1990 as a communication arts teacher in O’Fallon. She served as a teacher and administrator in Missouri and Maryland until 2005 when she went to work for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“With Margie’s knowledge and enthusiasm, it is obvious that she will be up to speed in a very short time,” said Vic Lenz, vice president of the State Board of Education. “She has a vision for Missouri education that will fit perfectly with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) legislation.”

Dr. Roger Dorson has served as the department’s interim commissioner since Dec. 1, 2017.

“I want to thank Roger for his amazing leadership during a challenging time as well as express my appreciation to the education community for its support of DESE and the more than 900,000 Missouri students it serves,” said Charlie Shields, president of the State Board of Education. "We look forward to continuous progress for the department under Margie's leadership."

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, under Vandeven’s direction, will look to continue its mission of guaranteeing the superior preparation and performance of every child in school and in life. The department focuses on three strategic priorities to help attain the goal that all Missouri students graduate ready for success: access, opportunity and equity, teachers and leaders, and efficiency and effectiveness.

“Missouri’s independent State Board of Education, through their selection process, unanimously chose a new commissioner of education,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Moving forward, we will continue working with Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to focus efforts on ensuring our students have the skills to succeed and meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce.

Vandeven is the sixth individual, and second female, to serve as Missouri’s Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education since the position began in 1947.