Ky. Dept. of Education narrows commissioner search to two as Holliday retires Monday

08/30/2015 01:20 PM

With hours left in the tenure of Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, the state Board of Education has announced that they’re down to two finalists in their search for a new commissioner.

The Board of Education is not releasing the names of the final two candidates in the search.

The two unnamed candidates, identified by the board on Sunday in a special meeting, will undergo “in-depth background checks,” according to a press release from the Department of Education. The background checks are expected to take “several weeks,” after which the board will reconvene in a special meeting for the board to “take the next step in the search process.”

Associate Commissioner and General Counsel Kevin C. Brown has been tapped by the board to serve as interim commissioner starting Tuesday until a new commissioner is selected and can begin work.

The board previously named five candidates which had been selected for second round interviews:

*Kathleen M. Airhart, Ed.D. – Airhart currently serves as the deputy commissioner, chief operating officer for the Tennessee Department of Education.

*Buddy Berry, Ed.D. – Berry is in his sixth year as superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools in Eminence, Kentucky.

*Christopher A. Koch, Ed.D. – Koch (pronounced cook) currently is the interim president of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a position he has held since May.

*Lloyd D. Martin, Ph.D. – Martin is currently the chief executive officer for Universal School Solutions, LLC, an education consultancy firm that he founded in 2010.

*Stephen L. Pruitt, Ph.D. – Pruitt is currently senior vice president at Achieve, Inc., an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization, where he has served since 2010.

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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