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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106

Board Approves Salary, Start Date for New Education Commissioner

BOSTON - The Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an annual salary of $206,000 for Mitchell Dan Chester, who will begin as the Commonwealth's next Commissioner of Education on May 19.

Chester is currently the Senior Associate State Superintendent for the Ohio Department of Education and has a background in assessment, accountability, education policy and strategic planning. The Board voted unanimously to appoint him on January 17, following a lengthy national search.

"Mitchell Chester has shown a strong commitment to children and educational excellence throughout his career," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. "I commend the Board of Education on their selection and welcome Mitchell to his vital new assignment."

Board of Education Chairman Paul Reville agreed.

"We are very eager to begin our work with Dr. Chester," he said. "He brings the right mix of national, state and local experience, and will be a good fit for this Board. We're already working to bring him up to speed on the key issues in Massachusetts so he can hit the ground running when he gets here on May 19."

Chester played leadership roles for the Connecticut and Philadelphia public schools before moving to Ohio in 2001. There he was Associate State Superintendent for Policy and Accountability until 2006, when he was named Senior Associate State Superintendent for the Ohio Public Schools. He currently works closely with Ohio State Superintendent Susan Zelman, and is responsible for education policy.

"I am both honored and excited to serve the students of the Commonwealth and look forward to working with the Board of Education," Chester said. "Teachers and administrators deserve credit for the high quality of the Commonwealth's schools, yet that there is still room for improvement. I look forward to working with educators on strategies to close achievement gaps and ensure that all students are well-prepared for postsecondary education, careers, and civic engagement."

Chester will replace former Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll, who retired in August 2007 after leading the state's public schools for eight years. Since Driscoll's retirement Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Nellhaus has been serving as Acting Commissioner. He will remain in that position until Chester begins in May.

Last Updated: February 26, 2008
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