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Gov. Haslam appoints another Memphian to State Board of Education

Cato Johnson, a new appointee to the State Board of Education from Memphis
Cato Johnson, a new appointee to the State Board of Education from Memphis

Two members on the nine-person State Board of Education reside in Memphis, as of last week.

Cato Johnson will represent the eighth congressional district, which includes part of Shelby County, on the board. He replaces Melvin Wright, of Jackson. Another Memphis resident, Teresa Sloyan, has represented the ninth congressional district on the board of education since 2008.

Members of the board are appointed by the governor for five-year terms. Their appointment is approved by the General Assembly. The board is the policy making body for K-12 educational issues in the state of Tennessee, and they work with the department of education to pass policy ranging from curricular standards to teacher evaluation models.

The Commercial Appeal reports that Johnson has been an active board member on several state and local boards, and has forty years of public policy work under his belt. He is the senior vice-president of Methodist Healthcare, and much of his policy work has been focused on health. However, he is not a newcomer to education. He recently served as vice-chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Another of Haslam’s recent appointees is Wendy Tucker, the former education adviser for Mayor Karl Dean of Nashville. Tucker helped oversee Nashville’s transition to a portfolio district, where charter schools and other choice options took on a more prevalent role.

Lillian Hargrove of Cookeville was also recently appointed to the board.

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