- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Board of Education approved a contract Tuesday with the new state education commissioner, Stephen Pruitt.

The board approved a four-year contract with an annual salary of $240,000.

Pruitt made a brief statement, saying he was humbled by the appointment and excited to help improve educational opportunities in the state.

“I want everyone on the planet talking about what’s going on in Kentucky,” he said.

The board voted last month to hire Pruitt to succeed Terry Holliday, who retired in August. Associate Commissioner Kevin Brown has been serving as interim commissioner.

Pruitt has been an educator in Georgia and most recently senior vice president of an independent education reform organization, Achieve Inc., where he has been since 2010.

In Georgia, he was chief of staff, associate state superintendent, director of academic standards, and science and mathematics program manager with the Georgia Department of Education. He was also a high school chemistry teacher in Fayetteville and Tyrone, Georgia.

Pruitt earned a bachelor’s degree from North Georgia College and State University, a master’s from the University of West Georgia and a doctorate from Auburn University.

He is expected to begin work in Kentucky officially on Oct. 16.

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