Below is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Education:
Today, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) appointed Dr. Robert Taylor, a 30-year-old veteran educator and assistant state superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as Mississippi’s new state superintendent of education.
dr Taylor, a Mississippi native and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, began his career as a teaching assistant in Mississippi and has served throughout his career as a teacher, principal, district director, and state education director in North Carolina public schools. Quality Counts ranks North Carolina 14th in the nation for K-12 achievement.
The SBE chose Dr. Taylor after conducting a national search. He will lead the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) beginning in late January 2023.
“Dr. Taylor possesses all the qualities that the Board has been looking for in the next state inspector of education. He brings extensive leadership experience at the school, district and state levels, as well as the skills and dedication needed to consistently improve student achievement nationwide to improve,” said Rosemary Aultman, Chair of the SBE. “Mississippi has emerged as a national leader in improving academic performance. The Board is confident that we have selected the right individual to lead our state to even higher levels of achievement. ”
In addition to his experience as a district and state administrator, Dr. Taylor served as a consultant at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke Schools of Education and Fayetteville State University, where he earned both his Masters of School Administration and his Doctorate in Education Leadership. During his 10-year tenure as District Superintendent, Dr. Taylor was selected for numerous state functions, including an assessments task force that drafted new legislation for statewide student assessment, the Governor’s Advisory Board of Superintendents, and the State Council and Advisory Councils on Higher Education. He currently serves as the Governor’s Commissioner for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching in North Carolina.
dr Taylor will succeed Dr. Kim Benton, who has served as interim state education inspector since July.
“DR. Benton’s contribution to the advancement of public education in Mississippi was tremendous. While serving as Chief Academic Officer of the Mississippi Department of Education, she successfully implemented the state’s distinctive educational reforms. She again dedicated her services to MDE when the Board needed her, to lead the department as interim superintendent,” said Rosemary Aultman, Chair of the SBE. “The Board is deeply grateful for Dr. Benton’s dedication and service to the students, educators, and school and district leaders of Mississippi.”
dr Benton will continue to serve as interim superintendent until Dr. Taylor takes over the role in January.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve the state as Interim State School Principal. I am incredibly proud of the outstanding students, educators and leaders across the state and appreciate the hard work and dedication of my colleagues at the Mississippi Department of Education,” said Dr. Benton. “I welcome the appointment of Dr. Taylor and offer my full support to ensure a smooth leadership transition.”
statement of dr Robert Taylor:
“The task of selecting a State Superintendent of Education is perhaps the most difficult task of any state board, and my family and I thank the Mississippi State Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to lead the public education system. Mississippi has made tremendous strides in literacy, and our goal as a state should be to continue that growth and refine the work that has produced such great results.
I look forward to working with local school districts, superintendents, and their school staff to identify barriers to success. MDE will continue to support local districts and work to expand our efforts to support work that prepares children for college and careers. Many districts are achieving excellent student results, and I welcome the opportunity to examine this work and develop ways for all schools and districts to share successful work.
The work of drafting legislation to support schools rests with our Legislature and Governor, and I look forward to working with the State Board of Education on legislative issues that benefit our entire state. My goal will be to offer effective legislative ideas that we all recognize will benefit student growth.
Our parents expect the best from us as educators, and I will work tirelessly to achieve that goal. As always, parents should have the loudest voice when it comes to raising their children, and as a state inspector, you have my listening ear.
The opportunity to return home to Mississippi and work hand-in-hand with everyone involved to improve education is perhaps the pinnacle of one’s career. This opportunity has been presented to my family and we look forward to our return home.”