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'I feel like I was born to do this work': New Kentucky Commissioner of Education lays out vision for upcoming school year

Meade County native Jason Glass will replace Interim Commissioner Kevin Brown in September.

KENTUCKY, USA — The Board of Education announced Kentucky native Jason Glass will serve as the state’s next Commissioner of Education.

Glass is from Brandenburg and began his career as a teacher at the Hazard Independent School District.

He is the current superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools in the Denver area. He has also served as Iowa's Director of Education.

Glass is a third generation Kentucky educator. His parents worked in the Meade County School District where he attended school growing up.

He says the Kentucky Commissioner of Education role is a dream job for him because of his love of both education and the policy and governmental aspect of schools.

“It allows me to stay focused on education and that important connection to the future and the students in those communities, but it also allows me to do that policy work that I’ve always loved as well,” Glass said.

Glass will be starting his position at an interesting time for schools. Many districts are still making plans for returning to school in the fall, with many having options for both in-person and online instruction. Glass says it’s important for schools to provide those options to families.

“We can’t be dogmatic and say it's only going to be remote, it's only going to be in person, it's only going to be this way," Glass said. "Nobody knows with any certainty what this fall is going to bring so we’re going to have to be flexible."

He emphasized that the role of the community is important in containing the virus, and that will have a big impact on if and when schools reopen and stay open.

There is also a large nation conversation happening about diversity, civil rights and justice. Glass says this is an overdue discussion both across the country and in Kentucky.

“Our schools have contributed to racism in our state and in our country, so we have to examine what practices do we have in place in our schools that are contributing to this,” Glass said.

He says when students are identified for special education, more students of color are identified, and when students are identified for gifted and talented programs, students of color are under identified.

“I think these are difficult conversations that the state can and should be looking into,” Glass said. “But if we’re going to meet up to our values as a state and as a nation, where this is really a country of opportunity for every child and every person…we’ve got to make sure that’s true in our schools as well and that opportunity really exists for every child.”

Kentucky has not had a permanent Commissioner of Education since December 2019.

Glass will take over for Interim Commissioner Kevin Brown on September 14.

The Kentucky Board of Education will be voting on Glass’s contract Wednesday.

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