Lee Announces New Commissioner of Education

Advocate Andy

Penny Schwinn to leave post at end of school year

Gov. Bill Lee announced today that the Tennessee Department of Education will soon have new leadership.

Current Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn announced her resignation today, effective in just a few weeks when the school year ends for most districts around the state.

Lee commended Schwinn for her service to Tennessee:

“During her years of dedicated service, Penny has played a key role in our administration’s work to ensure educational opportunity for Tennessee students and secure the next generation of teachers, while navigating historic learning challenges,” said Lee. “I have tremendous gratitude for her leadership and wish her much success in her next chapter.”

Lee credited Schwinn with what he called significant education reform, including ushering in the state's school voucher program.

Effective July 1st, Lizette Reynolds, currently Vice President of Policy for ExcelinEd and a former top official at the Texas Education Agency, will become Tennessee's Commissioner of Education.

Lee noted that Reynolds has a range of experience in education policy and said that makes her a solid fit to lead education policy efforts in the Volunteer State.

“Lizzette’s significant education policy expertise and leadership make her well-suited to continue our work to deliver a high-quality education and expand school choice for Tennessee students,” said Lee. “I welcome her to Tennessee and appreciate her service to students, families and teachers across the state.”

It's notable that Reynolds comes to Tennessee after state policy work in Texas, as Schwinn's last appointment before working in Tennessee was also in Texas.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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