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Anchorage Principal Named Ed. Commissioner

December 3, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today approved the State Board of Education and Early Development's appointment of Michael Hanley to serve as commissioner.

"I commend the members of the education board for their excellent work and this fine selection," Governor Parnell said. "Mike's experience and dedication to student engagement and achievement makes him a natural choice to lead Alaska's education system."

Hanley has served as principal of Kincaid Elementary School in Anchorage since 2005. He had been a teacher with the school district since 1991. Hanley holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The commissioner serves as chief executive officer of the Department of Education and Early Development, as ex-officio secretary to the State Board of Education and Early Development, and as a member of the governor's Cabinet.

By statute, education commissioners must have a master's degree with at least five years' experience in education since receiving the degree, with at least three of the five years in an exclusively administrative position. Commissioners are approved by the governor. They are appointed without regard to political affiliation.

The Department of Education and Early Development oversees K-12 public schools and operates Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. The department also includes the Division of Libraries, Museums and Archives; the Professional Teaching Practices Commission; and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

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