HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – During a bill signing ceremony Thursday aimed at recruiting more teachers to pursue careers in high-needs districts throughout Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont announced the person he is nominating to serve as the next commissioner of the State Department of Education.
Lamont chose Charlene Russell-Tucker. The nomination follows a unanimous vote earlier in the day by the State Board of Education recommending her appointment to the governor.
Russell-Tucker has served at the State Department of Education for more than 20 years. Most recently, she was appointed as the acting commissioner to the State Department of Education back in March.
The governor’s office details, “Throughout her career, Russell-Tucker has passionately supported family and community engagement in education and led school attendance and school discipline initiatives with a strong focus on equity and diversity. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she has been a crucial voice in supporting student attendance and engagement as schools have conducted hybrid and remote learning. Additionally, she has spearheaded the collaboration efforts with the Connecticut Department of Public Health to ensure the provision of technical assistance and guidance development for a successful, healthy, and safe school year.”
Governor Ned Lamont said of his nomination, “Charlene has many years of experience working with school districts across Connecticut and I’ve heard nothing but praise about her leadership style and effectiveness. Our administration has set strong goals when it comes to improving outcomes for our next generation so they are prepared to fill jobs that lead them through successful careers. I appreciate Charlene’s dedication to the students and families of Connecticut, and I’m excited to have her continue in this leadership capacity.”
“I am humbled to be given the opportunity to continue to lead the incredible team at the Connecticut State Department of Education as we join forces with educators and stakeholders to build a nation-leading education system that is resilient to the challenges we face and inclusive of all our students and families,” Russell-Tucker said. “Thank you to Governor Lamont and the State Board of Education for their confidence in my leadership.”
The position of education commissioner became vacant earlier this year when Dr. Miguel Cardona resigned to become the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
Russell-Tucker will serve as Commissioner-designate effective immediately. Her nomination is being forwarded to the Connecticut General Assembly for its advice and consent.