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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106

Deputy To Serve As Acting Commissioner After Education Chief Retires

IPSWICH - The Board of Education voted Tuesday to name Deputy Education Commissioner Jeffrey M. Nellhaus Acting Commissioner when the state's education leader retires this summer.

After eight years as Commissioner of Education, David P. Driscoll plans to retire on August 31. A nationwide search for his replacement will begin following the release of Governor Patrick's education reorganization plans.

"Jeffery Nellhaus is an award-winning education policymaker whose accomplishments at the Department and throughout his career have earned him the respect of educators across the state," said Board of Education Chairman Christopher Anderson. "His leadership as Acting Commissioner will provide strong continuity of service and allow the Administration and Board to work together to find the best possible candidate for Massachusetts."

Nellhaus, 58, has been with the Department of Education since 1986, and has been Deputy Commissioner for two years. Prior to that, as Associate Commissioner for Curriculum and Assessment he successfully led the state through the development and administration of the MCAS exams, and helped to refine the state's curriculum frameworks.

For his work on MCAS in 2002 he received the Manuel Carballo Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Service and the Friend of Education Award from the Massachusetts Association of Secondary School Administrators. He currently serves on both national and international standard-setting advisory panels.

Prior to joining the Department Nellhaus taught high school chemistry and worked abroad with the Peace Corps as a teacher trainer in India and an educational coordinator in Thailand.

"As interim Commissioner I plan to keep the critical work of the Department moving forward as the search for our next Commissioner gets underway," Nellhaus said. "While it is important that we find the right Commissioner, it is equally as important that our work does not suffer and we do not lose focus on providing all children in the Commonwealth with the best possible public education."

An avid runner, Nellhaus lives with his wife Betsy Bedell in Jamaica Plain.

Last Updated: April 24, 2007
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