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Kim Benton is the new interim head of state


Kim Benton, interim head of the education department. Credit: Mississippi Department of Education

On Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Education announced Kim Benton as interim head of state after On June 30, State Superintendent Kerry Wright retires.

Benton is currently acting interim chief researcher, a position she previously held for six years before leaving the agency in 2018. She has worked in public education in Mississippi for 40 years as an assistant teacher, teacher, principal and executive director of special populations and federal programs in Meridian State School District.

“Doctor. Benton has worked with Dr. Wright for most of his tenure and has played an important role in the state’s successful education reform efforts, ”said Rosemary Altman, chair of the State Board of Education. “The Council is confident that Dr. Benton will continue the progress we have made in public education over the past decade as we begin the search for a permanent head of state.”

The board also announced the formation of a subcommittee to find executives, which will be responsible for reviewing proposals from consulting firms to lead the search for a new head. The official call for proposals will be announced on June 1, and the consulting firm will be selected by July 1 and will begin interviews with candidates in the fall.

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Julia James is today’s Mississippi Poverty and Latest News reporter. A native of Mandeville, Louisiana, James recently completed an internship in investigation at Mississippi Today. In this role, she closely covered the large-scale scandal in the field of social security and public education. She will continue this work as well as work closely with the Mississippi Today latest news team. James is a graduate of the University of Mississippi in 2021, where she studied journalism and public policy and attended the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. It was published in The New York Times, Mississippi Today and Clarion Ledger.

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