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Commissioner History

Commissioner of Education

Dr. Margie Vandeven (2015-2017, 2019-)
Dr. Margie Vandeven, O'Fallon, served as Missouri's sixth Commissioner of Education from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 1, 2017. She returned to return to her role as commissioner on Jan. 2, 2019. 

See Vandeven's full bio here.

Previous Missouri Education Commissioners

Dr. Chris L. Nicastro (2009-2014)
Dr. Chris L. Nicastro graduated from Indiana University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in history. She then earned a master’s degree in educational administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Ph.D. in educational administration at St. Louis University. She began her career as a high school social studies teacher in House Springs, Missouri, in 1976, where in 1981 she became the assistant to the superintendent for personnel. From 1984-1995, she served as the assistant superintendent for administration in the Ritenour School District, then became superintendent of schools in Riverview Gardens in 1995. From 2002-2009, she was the superintendent of the Hazelwood School District, where she stayed until she became Commissioner in 2009.

Dr. D. Kent King (2000-2009)
A native of Preston in Hickory County, Dr. D. Kent King graduated from Skyline High School in Urbana. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Central Missouri State University, he began his career as an English teacher at Houston High School where he taught from 1964-67. He served as junior high principal in Houston for three years before becoming the superintendent of the Licking School District from 1971-1977. In 1977, he became superintendent of the Rolla School District, and stayed until 1996 when he joined the Department as coordinator of the Missouri School Improvement Program. He served as Deputy Commissioner for a year before being appointed Commissioner in 2000.

Dr. Robert Bartman (1987-2000)
Born in St. Louis, Dr. Robert Bartman graduated from Eureka High School. In 1966, he graduated from the University of Missouri before moving on to the United States Marine Corp., where he served as a platoon commander and was awarded two purple hearts. He returned home to become an English teacher while earning his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri. Dr. Bartman joined the Department in 1973 as an intern. He became Deputy Commissioner in 1986 and Commissioner in 1987.

Dr. Arthur Mallory (1971-1987)
Dr. Arthur Mallory graduated from Buffalo High School and earned his bachelor's degree from Missouri State University in 1954. He later earned his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri. Dr. Mallory served as president of Southwest Missouri State College from 1964 until he was appointed Commissioner of Education in 1971.

Hubert Wheeler (1947-1971)
Hubert Wheeler was born in Webster County and began teaching even before he graduated from the Bodenhamer School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield and his master’s degree from the University of Missouri before pursing graduate work at Columbia University in New York. Wheeler served as a teacher and principal at several Missouri schools, including Aurora, Lawrence County, Butler and Marshall. In 1945, the Missouri Constitution created the Commissioner’s office and State Board of Education. Wheeler was the state’s first commissioner and served from 1947-1971.