The Gazebo Gazette

JACKSON (GG) — The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) welcome Dr. Lance Evans today as he officially begins his duties as state superintendent of education. Dr. Evans succeeds Dr. Raymond Morgigno, who served as interim state superintendent July 2023 through June 2024.

The SBE selected Dr. Evans in December 2023 after conducting a national search. The Mississippi Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment in March 2024.

A product of Mississippi public schools, Dr. Evans began his education career more than two decades ago and has served Mississippi students as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and district superintendent. He is the former superintendent of New Albany School District, where he led the district to achieve an A rating for five consecutive years, ranking in the top 10% of Mississippi school districts, and implemented a workforce development program through career and technical education programs and partnerships with private businesses.

“I am honored and humbled to begin my service today as state superintendent of education,” Dr. Evans said. “I look forward to collaborating with educators, stakeholders, and communities to create new pathways for our graduates to achieve success in college, their careers and life.”

At the start of his tenure, Dr. Evans has outlined six primary goals:

  1. Updating the State Board Strategic Plan with stakeholder input to reflect current priorities for public education
  2. Restructuring support for low-performing districts by establishing a department within the MDE to focus on improving student outcomes and preventing the need for a state takeover
  3. Integrating workforce development and career and technical education through strong partnerships between districts and private businesses and industries
  4. Examining the accountability system to incentivize districts’ focus on workforce development
  5. Addressing the teacher shortage by assisting districts with recruiting and retaining teachers
  6. Increasing enrollment in public schools by creating equitable systems that attract families back to public education

“Educating 21st-century students requires innovative approaches and a diverse range of strategies to ensure every student can succeed,” Dr. Evans said. “Success looks different for each student. It is our responsibility as educators to create multiple, flexible paths to achievement. All students deserve the opportunity to find their own route to success without encountering dead ends.”