The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has named Dr. Robert Taylor Mississippi’s new state superintendent of education.
Taylor, a Southern Miss alum and 30-year veteran educator, began his career as a teacher’s assistant in Mississippi and served North Carolina public schools throughout his career as a teacher, principal, district superintendent, and state education leader. He most recently served as deputy state superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
He will begin serving in his new role as superintendent starting in late January 2023.
“Dr. Taylor possesses all the qualities the Board sought for the next state superintendent of education. He brings extensive leadership experience at the school, district and state levels and the skill and commitment needed to continuously improve student achievement statewide,” SBE Chair Rosemary Aultman said. “Mississippi has become a national leader for improving student outcomes. The Board is confident we selected the right person to lead our state to achieve at even higher levels.”
In addition to his experience as a district and state administrator, Dr. Taylor has served as an adviser to the schools of education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Fayetteville State University, where he earned both his Master’s of School Administration and Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
During his 10-year tenure as a district superintendent, Dr. Taylor was selected for numerous state roles including an assessment task force that drafted new legislation for statewide student assessment, the governor’s superintendent advisory council and state board and higher education advisory boards. He currently serves as the governor’s appointee on North Carolina’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching.
Dr. Taylor will succeed Dr. Kim Benton, who has been serving as interim state superintendent of education since July. Benton will continue to serve as interim superintendent until Dr. Taylor assumes the role in January.
“I look forward to working with local school districts, superintendents, and their school staff in identifying barriers to success. The MDE will continue its support of local districts, working to expand our efforts to support the work that makes children college and career ready. Many districts produce outstanding student results, and I welcome the opportunity to examine this work and develop pathways for all schools and districts to share successful work,” Dr.Taylor stated. “The opportunity to return home to Mississippi and work hand in hand with all stakeholders to improve education is perhaps the pinnacle of one’s career. This opportunity has been afforded to my family and I and we look forward to our homecoming.”