CCSSO Announces 2017-18 Board of Directors

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Mississippi Chief Carey Wright Assumes Presidency

St. Louis, MO (November 15, 2017) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced its 2017-18 Board of Directors following elections at the 2017 Annual Policy Forum in St. Louis, MO.

Carey Wright, Superintendent of Education in Mississippi, assumed the presidency, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera was chosen as president-elect and Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius assumed the role of President Pro Tempore. 

CCSSO members elected Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero to a new three-year term. In addition, CCSSO members elected two new Board Members, Tennessee Commissioner Candice McQueen and Missouri Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

These new Board members will join President Wright, President-Elect Rivera, President Pro Tempore Cassellius and current Board members Illinois Superintendent Tony Smith, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and Kentucky Commissioner Stephen Pruitt to make up the 2017-18 CCSSO Board of Directors.

CCSSO's Board of Directors manages the overall business affairs of the Council and is the governing body of the organization. The board is composed of the president, the president-elect, the past president, and six directors elected by the members from the CCSSO membership. In 2017-2018, the role of past president will be filled by Cassellius as President Pro Tempore since Cassellius is the current longest-serving member of the Board.

"The Board of Directors will help guide CCSSO as it executes on a new strategic plan anchored in our commitment to provide an equitable education to every child," said Executive Director Chris Minnich. "This work is critical and the strong leadership of CCSSO's board will ensure we continue to deliver on behalf of the nation's students."  

"I am honored to serve in this leadership role, especially for an organization that provides a voice and platform for education leaders around the country. CCSSO brings together state chiefs as thought partners and advocates for issues critical to the success of all students. As chiefs, we address and focus on issues of equity," said Wright.  

"I look forward to collaborating with all of my colleagues to address challenges and to provide solutions for educators and leaders that will better prepare our students for college and the workplace, beginning with our youngest learners who deserve equitable access to high-quality childhood education programs."

The following is a list of CCSSO's 2017-2018 Board of Directors:

  • President: Carey Wright, Mississippi
  • President-Elect: Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania
  • Past Pro Tempore: Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota
  • Board Member: Jillian Balow, Wyoming
  • Board Member: Steve Canavero, Nevada
  • Board Member: Candice McQueen, Tennessee
  • Board Member: Stephen Pruitt, Kentucky
  • Board Member: Tony Smith, Illinois
  • Board member: Margie Vandeven, Missouri



The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.  

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