- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on the change in leadership at the state education department (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Gov. Bill Walker says education commissioner Mike Hanley offered to resign during a meeting when it was made clear to Hanley that he didn’t have the support of the state board of education.

Walker says in an email to The Associated Press that he and board chairman James Fields met with Hanley Wednesday.

During that meeting, Walker says it appeared clear where the board was headed so Hanley offered his resignation.

Fields says the state education system is at a critical junction. He said leadership that can provide “outside the box” thinking and vision is needed.

Walker’s office announced that Susan McCauley will take over as interim commissioner beginning March 1. McCauley currently serves as director of the teaching and learning support division of the state education department.

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10:22 a.m.

The state is looking for a new education commissioner after Gov. Bill Walker announced that commissioner Mike Hanley is being replaced.

In a release, Walker said that he and the state board of education decided to “steer the state’s education system in a new direction.” He says he’ll work closely with the board to bring new leadership to the department.

Susan McCauley is set to take over as interim commissioner beginning March 1. McCauley currently serves as director of the teaching and learning support division of the state education department.

Reasons for Hanley’s departure were not immediately clear. A message seeking clarity was sent to a Walker spokeswoman.

Hanley has served as commissioner for five years and was first appointed by then-Gov. Sean Parnell.

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This story has been corrected to correct paraphrasing of Fields’ quote to “outside the box” thinking and vision.

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