JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) appointed Dr. Kim Benton to become interim state superintendent of education on July 1. She will succeed Dr. Carey Wright, who will retire on June 30.

Benton currently serves as the interim chief academic officer/deputy state superintendent for the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). She previously served as MDE’s chief academic officer for six years before retiring from the agency in 2018. 

“Dr. Benton has worked alongside Dr. Wright during most of her tenure and has been instrumental in helping to lead the state’s successful education reform efforts,” said Rosemary Aultman, SBE chair. “The Board is confident Dr. Benton will continue the progress we have made in public education over the past decade as we begin the search for a permanent state superintendent.”

The SBE will issue a call for proposals on June 1 from consultant firms with expertise in leading searches for state education chiefs. The SBE intends to select a search firm by July 1 and begin interviewing candidates in the fall.