HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced Wednesday that he appointed a new acting commissioner of the State Department of Education.
Governor Lamont said on Twitter, “An educator herself, Charlene Russell-Tucker has many years of experience working with school districts across Connecticut. I appreciate her willingness to serve as Acting Commissioner of the State Dept. of Education during this transition.”
The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to recommend Russell-Tucker for the position following the resignation Tuesday of Dr. Miguel Cardona, who was sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Education on Tuesday afternoon.
The state said of Russell-Tucker that she “has more than 20 years of experience as a performance-driven and visionary education leader and most recently served as deputy commissioner of the state agency, which she will lead on an interim basis until a permanent appointment is made. As deputy commissioner, she has been responsible for overseeing educational supports and wellness priorities.”
“I am humbled and grateful to Governor Lamont and the State Board of Education for placing their confidence in me to serve Connecticut’s students, families, and educators in this role,” Acting Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “I will use this opportunity to continue to advance the work of the agency and our educational partners to ensure a seamless transition once a permanent commissioner is named.”
State Sen. Doug McCrory (D-Hartford), co-chair of the Education Committee, released a statement Wednesday following the governor’s acceptance of the recommendation by the State Board of Education about the appointment of Russell-Tucker.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-existent academic achievement gap in Connecticut. It is important our response to the impact this pandemic has had on students and schools be centered around equity in resources and improving educational opportunity for students so they can become 21st-century leaders,” said Sen. McCrory. “Now-Acting Commissioner Russell-Tucker brings a significant amount of professional experience, a value for community engagement, and over 15 years as an educator, which will serve her well in leading the Connecticut Department of Education during this critical period. I look forward to continuing to work with Acting Commissioner Russell-Tucker in her elevated leadership role on public policy and programs that will allow all students to thrive and for our schools to be able to meet the needs of their students and teachers.”
Russell-Tucker received a Master of Science in Management in 1999 from Albertus Magnus College. After which she served for 17 years as an adjunct faculty member at the college.
Albertus Magnus released a statement following her appointment by Lamont on Wednesday.
“This is a moment of great pride for the Albertus Magnus College family,” said Albertus President Dr. Marc M. Camille. “Charlene is a deeply experienced educator, and no doubt she has the strategic vision and thoughtful leadership that is needed to move our State’s education system forward at this critical juncture. Governor Lamont has chosen wisely in selecting Charlene Russell Tucker to continue the essential work championed by Dr. Cardona.”