Board to name House interim state superintendent of education

JACKSON — The Mississippi Board of Education plans to name Lynn House as interim state superintendent today.

The board chose House, now deputy superintendent for instructional enhancement and internal operations, following a closed meeting yesterday. It will formally ratify the choice today.

House, 60, will replace Tom Burnham, who announced earlier this month that he would retire July 1. Charles McClelland of Jackson, chairman of the board, said House would not be a candidate to permanently replace Burnham.

“We were really looking for someone within the building who would be able to continue what we’re doing without missing a beat,” McClelland said.

He said House has been overseeing the implementation of new academic standards meant to raise state school performance, a major focus of the state right now.

McClelland said the board is still discussing a search process to find a new permanent superintendent and that board members want to be able to take their time to look for a new leader.

“That is a process that we do not need to rush, whether it takes six months, a year, or whatever,” McClelland said.

McClelland said House will make $276,000 — 90 percent of Burnham’s salary of $307,000

House declined to comment on her new role until the board approves her Friday.

House has served in her current role since 2010. She held a variety of positions before then, including positions overseeing academic and student affairs for the Mississippi College Board and the Louisiana Board of Regents. Before that, she was dean of education at Delta State University from 2003 to 2006. A DeSoto County native, House was also an elementary school principal, a teacher and a central office employee.

House holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans, a master’s degree from Furman University in South Carolina and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi.

Burnham is completing his second stint as leader of Mississippi’s K-12 schools. He first served as superintendent from 1992 to 1997 and resumed the post in 2010 after Hank Bounds left to become commissioner of higher education.

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