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Charlene Russell-Tucker Named Connecticut Education Commissioner

Charlene Russell-Tucker
Courtesy photo
Charlene M. Russell-Tucker

Charlene M. Russell-Tucker was named the state’s next education commissioner on Thursday.

Members of the state Board of Education and Gov. Ned Lamont announced the decision after a meeting in Hartford.

Russell-Tucker, who is the state’s acting commissioner, is believed to be Connecticut’s first Black education chief.

She follows Miguel Cardona, who was tapped by President Joe Biden to be the nation’s education secretary. He was the state’s first Latinx education commissioner.

Russell-Tucker took over the role on an acting basis in March 2021 after serving as a deputy commissioner in the department overseeing educational supports and wellness priorities.

She also previously served as chief operating officer and division chief for the department’s Office of Student Supports and Organizational Effectiveness and was an associate commissioner of education and bureau chief, according to a biography published by the state.

“She is a performance-driven and visionary education leader who passionately supports the inter-connectedness of the social, emotional, physical and mental health of students and their families as foundations for positive school and life outcomes,” the biography reads. “She values family and community engagement in education and leads school attendance and school discipline initiatives with intensive focus on equity and diversity.”

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas is an investigative reporter with Connecticut Public’s Accountability Project.