Dr. Lance Evans
For Immediate Release: December 20, 2023
State Board of Education Names Dr. Lance Evans State Superintendent of Education
JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) named Dr. Lance Evans, the superintendent of the New Albany School District, the next state superintendent of education.
The SBE selected Dr. Evans after conducting a national search. He will assume the position on July 1, 2024, succeeding Dr. Ray Morgigno, who was appointed to serve as interim state superintendent of education from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
A 24-year veteran educator, Dr. Evans has led the New Albany School District since 2017. Under his leadership, the district achieved its first A-rating for the 2018-19 school year and maintained its A grade for all subsequent years. Dr. Evans previously served as principal and assistant principal of New Albany High School and principal of New Albany Elementary School. Prior to joining the New Albany School District in 2006, he served as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Oxford and Itawamba County school districts.
Dr. Evans is the 2023 Mississippi Association of School Administrators’ Superintendent of the Year and serves as the state representative on the organization’s national governing board. He holds an associate degree from Itawamba Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a specialist degree and doctorate from Delta State University.
“Dr. Evans is a visionary leader who is committed to continuously improving student achievement," said Glen East, SBE chair. “The Board sought broad public input about the qualities and priorities the next state superintendent of education should have, and Dr. Evans meets all of our expectations.”
The SBE worked with the firm McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to lead the search process and issued a statewide survey to collect public input about the desired characteristics of the next state superintendent. Board members used the survey results to help evaluate candidates, which included applicants from Mississippi and several other states. The SBE interviewed four semifinalists before selecting Dr. Evans as the finalist. Senate confirmation during the 2024 legislative session is required to complete the appointment process.
Dr. Morgigno will continue to lead the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) as the interim state superintendent of education until Dr. Evans assumes the role.
“The Board is deeply indebted to Dr. Morgigno for stepping in to lead the MDE during a critical time,” Chairman East said. “His steady leadership has kept up the momentum of continued student achievement and his initiatives are advancing the goals of the State Board Strategic Plan. The Board is grateful for Dr. Morgigno’s continued leadership throughout the remainder of the school year.”
Dr. Morgigno credited the MDE staff for keeping high standards for students and educators and providing the support to help them meet high expectations.
“The MDE has an incredible staff who are laser-focused on our mission to improve opportunities and outcomes for every child in the state,” Dr. Morgigno said. “We will be pressing forward on all of the agency’s priorities and initiatives over the next six months to ensure Dr. Evans is set up for success.”
Statement from Dr. Lance Evans:
“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the position of State Superintendent of Mississippi. My commitment to fairness, equity, and innovation in education aligns seamlessly with the values of this great state. I look forward to collaborating with educators, stakeholders, and communities to forge new pathways for our graduates, ensuring every student has the opportunity to thrive and succeed."
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.