Carolyn Stanford Taylor to be named next State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Governor-Elect Tony Evers announced that Carolyn Stanford Taylor will be appointed the next state superintendent, to serve out the term that will be vacated when he takes the office of governor.

Stanford Taylor, who currently oversees DPI’s Special Education Team, will officially be appointed on Jan. 7 after Evers is sworn in. She will serve out the remainder of Evers’ term, which ends in April 2021.

WEAC President Ron Martin said the appointment will be a solid choice. Stanford Taylor, who will be the first African-American state superintendent, is known throughout the state as a qualified professional and leader, with a strong background collaborating with teachers and Education Support Professionals.

Evers said, “Carolyn is a dedicated, thoughtful leader, who puts the best interests of kids before all else. She is known and respected throughout the education community for her commitment to equity and her work to help all students reach academic success. I have known Carolyn for the better part of three decades and know she will be an exceptional state superintendent.”

Stanford Taylor is the first female, African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent. She currently oversees the Special Education Team, one of the agency’s largest teams; the Student Services / Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on student safety, support, and engagement; and the residential schools for students who are blind and visually impaired in Janesville and students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Delavan. She is the 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition recipient, an honor bestowed by the Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management, to female state employees who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin.

“It will be an honor to serve the students, teachers, and families of Wisconsin as the next state superintendent,” Stanford Taylor said. “I am blessed to be surrounded by the talented and devoted staff in the department, who care about the work they do to improve the lives of our state’s youth. I look forward to this opportunity, and know that together, we can continue to advance educational equity for all students.”

An announcement issued by the DPI explained that when a vacancy occurs with the state superintendent, state law allows the governor to appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term. The last such appointment took place when then State Superintendent Herbert Grover resigned, and former Governor Tommy G. Thompson appointed Lee Dreyfus.