Governor-elect and State Superintendent Tony Evers announced today his intention to appoint current Assistant State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor as the next state superintendent following his oath of office on January 7.
“Carolyn is a dedicated, thoughtful leader, who puts the best interests of kids before all else,” Evers said. “She is known and respected throughout the education community for her commitment to equity and her work to help all students reach academic success. I have known Carolyn for the better part of three decades and know she will be an exceptional state superintendent.”
Stanford Taylor is the first female, African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent. She will be Wisconsin’s first African-American state superintendent of public instruction. Carolyn currently oversees the Special Education Team, one of the agency’s largest teams; the Student Services / Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on student safety, support, and engagement; and the residential schools for students who are blind and visually impaired in Janesville and students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Delavan. She is the 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition recipient, an honor bestowed by the Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management, to female state employees who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin.
The state superintendent of public instruction oversees Wisconsin’s educational system and leads the Department of Public Instruction. The position is a non-partisan, constitutional officer, responsible for providing guidance and oversight to the state’s primary and secondary schools, licensing educators, and administering funds.
When a vacancy occurs with the state superintendent, state law allows the governor to appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term. The last such appointment took place when then State Superintendent Herbert Grover resigned, and former Governor Tommy G. Thompson appointed Lee Dreyfus.