Dept. of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday announces retirement

04/01/2015 10:03 AM

UPDATED WITH REACTION FROM GOV. BESHEAR — After nearly six years on the job Department of Education, Commissioner Terry Holliday has announced he will be retiring effective Aug. 31.

Holliday announced his retirement on Wednesday at the Kentucky Board of Education’s meeting in Frankfort in a letter read by Board of Education Chair Roger Marcum.

“I am humbled and very proud to end my 43 years in public education by serving the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Holliday wrote. “For the last six years, it has been my honor to work with an outstanding and supportive Governor, a committed State Board of Education, a high performing Department of Education staff and passionate educators across the Commonwealth. Thank you for allowing me to serve the children of this great state.”

The Courier-Journal was first to report Holliday’s announcement, which they said came as a surprise to board members.

In a press release Marcum said Holliday has been a “tireless advocate for educational improvements in Kentucky.”

“He is driven by doing what’s best for children and a systemic approach to continuous improvement for students, teachers and administrators,” he said.

In a statement Gov. Steve Beshear called Holliday an “outstanding public servant.”

“We’ve seen many positive results of Terry’s leadership over the years. Under his guidance, Kentucky was the first state to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards,” Beshear said. “Commissioner Holliday has worked tirelessly to implement the balanced assessment and accountability system mandated by Senate Bill 1.”

“The First Lady and I are especially grateful for the Commissioner’s work with us to raise the compulsory school age in Kentucky from 16 to 18. I hope all Kentuckians will join Jane and me in thanking Commissioner Holliday for his hard work and dedication. We wish him the best in this future endeavors.”

In 2012, the Kentucky Board of Education approved a four-year extension to Holliday’s initial contract. The contract was to run through August 4, 2017, at a salary of $225,000 per year.

Marcum said the board will begin to discuss a process for selecting a new commissioner Wednesday.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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