- Associated Press - Monday, November 3, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee State Board of Education has announced that Sara Heyburn will succeed Gary Nixon as executive director of the policymaking panel.

Nixon is retiring at the end of the year.

Heyburn has been an assistant commissioner in the state Education Department since 2011, where she has led efforts to improve effectiveness of teachers and administrators.

She previously worked as an education policy adviser for the state and as an analyst at Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives.

The State Board of Education often takes a central role in controversial issues like charter school authorization and disputes over textbook content.

Heyburn will assume her new role early next year.

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