Wednesday, December 20, 2023

MDE Appoints New Superintendent

 The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following statement. 

 Today the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) named Dr. Lance Evans, the superintendent of the New Albany School District, the next state superintendent of education.

The SBE selected Dr. Evans after conducting a national search. He will assume the position on July 1, 2024, succeeding Dr. Ray Morgigno, who was appointed to serve as interim state superintendent of education from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. 

A 24-year veteran educator, Dr. Evans has led the New Albany School District since 2017. Under his leadership, the district achieved its first A-rating for the 2018-19 school year and maintained its A grade for all subsequent years. Dr. Evans previously served as principal and assistant principal of New Albany High School and principal of New Albany Elementary School. Prior to joining the New Albany School District in 2006, he served as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Oxford and Itawamba County school districts.

Dr. Evans is the 2023 Mississippi Association of School Administrators’ Superintendent of the Year and serves as the state representative on the organization’s national governing board. He holds an associate degree from Itawamba Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a specialist degree and doctorate from Delta State University.

“Dr. Evans is a visionary leader who is committed to continuously improving student achievement," said Glen East, SBE chair. “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 SBE worked with the firm McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to lead the search process and issued a statewide survey to collect public input about the desired characteristics of the next state superintendent. Board members used the survey results to help evaluate candidates, which included applicants from Mississippi and several other states. The SBE interviewed four semifinalists before selecting Dr. Evans as the finalist. Senate confirmation during the 2024 legislative session is required to complete the appointment process.

Dr. Morgigno will continue to lead the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) as the interim state superintendent of education until Dr. Evans assumes the role.

“The Board is deeply indebted to Dr. Morgigno for stepping in to lead the MDE during a critical time,” Chairman East said. “His steady leadership has kept up the momentum of continued student achievement and his initiatives are advancing the goals of the State Board Strategic Plan. The Board is grateful for Dr. Morgigno’s continued leadership throughout the remainder of the school year.”

Dr. Morgigno credited the MDE staff for keeping high standards for students and educators and providing the support to help them meet high expectations.

“The MDE has an incredible staff who are laser-focused on our mission to improve opportunities and outcomes for every child in the state,” Dr. Morgigno said. “We will be pressing forward on all of the agency’s priorities and initiatives over the next six months to ensure Dr. Evans is set up for success.”

Statement from Dr. Lance Evans:

“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the position of State Superintendent of Mississippi. 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."


Anonymous said...

"The board is deeply indebted to Dr. Morgigno for stepping in to lead the MDE during a critical time".


Why is the board deeply indebted to this individual?

Answer: They aren't unless this PhD is not taking a salary.

Anonymous said...

Man yesss! They finally listened to what the people want. I know this guy and he can be tough and get things done at the same time. FINALLY!!

Anonymous said...

Great choice. Finally.

Anonymous said...

Why do they even bother to announce 'national search'?

One word jumps off the page in his statement. Equity. I was hoping for a photo, but that answers it.

Bring Back The Pledge said...

"Equity, Innovation, Seamless Alignment, Collaborating, Forging Pathways, Thriving..."

Yep...sounds like a PhD alright. No doubt he can crank out one helluva memo.

Anonymous said...

The salary of the last three have been made public. What's this guy's pay?

Will he, like our last one, be the highest paid in the nation?

Will he hit the ground contracting-out what oughta be done at the SDE Mausoleum?

Will he bring a cattle-prod and throw a switch to energize that bunch at SDE.

Anonymous said...

He is white:

Anonymous said...

Whats the issue/disdain for PhDs some of you have? Possessing a college degree does not equate to intelligence, nor should it be a bellwether for it, but in most cases you have to work hard to earn a PhD. I do not understand why you would immediately surmise anything about anyone who holds a PhD other than "well, they can commit to something and work hard for it," which is EXACTLY what we are hoping this guy does for education in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

“Dr.” this and “Dr.” that … these education-types are full of themselves and the illusion that they possess immense knowledge in teaching people incapable of learning. It was, I suppose, an SDE selection committee composed of a room full of “Dr.” as well. And just step back and look at their creation: American students placing near last among Western countries in terms of academic achievement.

A medical doctor, dentist, or veterinarian, I do call them “Dr.” Anything else — especially education-types — just deserves a simple “Mr.” and “Mizz.”

Anonymous said...

7:55–in the memorable words of Judge Smails, co-chair of the Caddy Scholarship Fund, “the world needs ditch diggers, too.” Now get your shovel out and get to digging.

Anonymous said...

PhD in Electrical Engineering here.
I will never ask to be called doctor.
No other PhD should ask to be called doctor.
Never take a PhD seriously who demands to be called doctor.
It’s a serious red flag for a PhD to demand to be called doctor.

Anonymous said...

Dear 5:33 am

Dr. Evans is white so you can stop clutching your pearls.

Anonymous said...

Student statewide assessments are inversely proportional to the state superintendent's pay.

Anonymous said...


7:51 here

I have one too (in a different discipline) and I agree 1000 percent with you.

Anonymous said...

When you hear the words equity and diversity you better run like hell. What equity really means is if we can't bring them up to your level we will bring you down to theirs.

Anonymous said...

BS = We all know what that means.
MS = More of the same.
PhD = Piled higher and deeper.

Great line from Ice Station Zebra:

Cmdr. Ferraday: "We operate on a first-name basis. My first name is Captain."

Anonymous said...

Quote from the great Thomas Sowell Paraphrased of course "anytime there is government screw up a Harvard Man with a PHD is in the middle of it"

Anonymous said...

7:51 and 9:04

Spot on.

I use it in academic circles when appropriate, but I recently had a friend of over a decade visit my office and comment that he did not know I had a Ph.D.

Anonymous said...

"PhD in Electrical Engineering here.
I will never ask to be called doctor.
No other PhD should ask to be called doctor.
Never take a PhD seriously who demands to be called doctor.
It’s a serious red flag for a PhD to demand to be called doctor."

Electrical engineering?! An PhD in EE wanting to be called "doctor" is pretty sketchy since everyone knows it isn't a real profession, it's just a glorified ceiling fan hanger. It would be pretty silly to call one "doctor" and even funnier for one to demand to be called doctor. That said, in many professional settings and especially in (actual) academics, the title "doctor" for a PhD is both a recognition and a signifying method and its use isn't a "red flag" or any such thing (if the doctor is overly pedantic about it or makes his wife, family, and friends call him doctor it might well be, but in general, nope).

BTW, I'm an MD (retired) and I never had a particular preference in any situation in which the use was not important in context. Most health care workers I encountered used it instinctively in clinical settings. No family member, friend, or social acquaintance ever used it except humorously (or sarcastically) nor did I expect or wish them to. As to the joking around above about EEs, a PhD in most any traditional field, including EE, is an achievement (but I wonder the reaction when the commenter quoted read it). PhDs in many health-related fields save as many lives as MDs (as a group) and the majority of MDs (individually) rarely save or lose patients. It isn't related to knowledge or skill, it's related to opportunity and specialization - podiatry vs heart surgery, both important to their patients but with different roles in medical care. In fact, PhDs often teach at med schools, especially in things like organic chemistry, which is a tough learn for many that become excellent MDs. The bottom line: if someone has earned the title and they wish to use it, that should be respected. If they have earned the title but have other feelings about its use, that should be respected. No one entitled to use it via earning it as an MD, DO, or PhD should be telling folks that others who earned it and wish to use it professionally is a "red flag" because it is not.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know if students are thrown out of school for not doing their work and making their grades?

Felix Unger said...

9:52, I doubt you are an MD, and if you are I hope like hell I was never treated by you. I’m an engineer, and although not electrical, I knew enough electrical engineering majors (double Es) in college to know how hard that major is, and can’t even fathom how hard PhD level EE courses must be. From your arrogant yet miserable attitude I’m guessing you finished near the bottom of your class, matched in family medicine, and are pissed off you spent your career seeing people with sinus infections before finally being pushed out of a clinic by NPs. Don’t take it out on a EE who designs electrical systems for Boeing 767s, Apache helicopters, SpaceX rockets, or Lockheed Martin F-35s.

Anonymous said...

What we have become are near gods in technology, and animals in behavior. Unless there is a quick correction in said behavior, the advancement of technology will do us no good. The common curse of the human race is self-destruction. This curse can only be mitigated through self-control.

Anonymous said...

"(insults)...I...can’t even fathom how hard PhD level EE courses must be...(insults)"

Have you ever read anything about the difficulty level of PhD level EE courses? The reason I ask is that your response indicates a possible problem with such things. If two PhDs speak for all PhDs, it's a "red flag" if any PhD expects to be called by the very title they have earned through all that unfathomably hard work. If someone who has earned the title looks disdainfully at its use, why should you or anyone else who hasn't earned it be indignant about its disdain? But you did help provide an answer to the rhetorical question asked in the part that you did not read, coincidentally about the very thing you have done, and even if you are not the original "red flag" commenter.

Credit where its due however - I have a hunch that between you and the two commenters claiming PhDs, you are doing the least expansion on your CV. But as an alleged engineer, a wee bit more thoroughness might be in order.

Anonymous said...

Have to fully agree with 9:52am. PhDs should not be referred to as "doctor" - but rather or perhaps "professor" at best.

PhDs are nothing more than "academics" - such as lawyers - and thankfully we don't refer to them as "doctor". God help us.

Anonymous said...

I had a class at a small university with pretensions in a small town with pretensions in Upper Mississippi and failed to address as Doctor a professor with pretensions holding an EdD. The nice lady informed me before the entire class that she had her EdD and expected to be addressed as “Dr. Wxxxxxx.” (Not her real name.) She didn’t find my performance adequate for her lofty EdD standards thereafter and so I left for one of the school’s esteemed competitors. I guess she educated me, one might say.

Anonymous said...

I have a PhD. Please don’t call me doctor unless I’m teaching a college class or presenting at a conference.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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