The Mississippi State Board of Education announced Thursday it selected the next interim state superintendent of education.
The board said Ray Morgigno, executive director of the East Mississippi Center for Educational Development, will assume the position on July 1. He will succeed Mike Kent, who was appointed to serve from April 3 through June 30.
Kent was appointed after Mississippi’s Republican-led Senate voted against confirming veteran educator Robert P. Taylor.
Blocking Taylor’s nomination angered some Black Democrats who said the rejection was at least partly because Taylor is Black and wrote years ago about the state’s racist history. Some Republicans said they wanted a candidate with more experience improving low-performing schools.
Morgigno has nearly 30 years of experience in Mississippi public education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and district superintendent, according to a news release from the Board of Education.
“Dr. Morgigno is a lifelong educator and public servant who brings a wealth of experience in public education in Mississippi,” said Glen East, the board’s vice chair. “The board is confident he will continue the great strides Mississippi has made in public education over the past decade as we conduct the search for a permanent state superintendent.”
The board is working with a search company to field applications for a permanent superintendent. Members plan to select a final candidate before the end of 2023. The person will need to be confirmed by the state Senate during the 2024 legislative session.