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Haslam’s appointments move toward confirmation to State Board of Education

Elissa Kim of Nashville speaks to the Senate Education Committee Wednesday before her confirmation vote.
Elissa Kim of Nashville speaks to the Senate Education Committee Wednesday before her confirmation vote.
Grace Tatter

Three of Gov. Bill Haslam’s appointments to Tennessee’s State Board of Education were confirmed Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee.

Elissa Kim, who represents the state’s fifth congressional district in Nashville, and Gordon Ferguson, representing the fourth district that includes Murfreesboro, are first-time appointees. Mike Edwards of Knoxville has been appointed to a second five-year term to represent the state’s second district.

The 11-member board is Tennessee’s top policy-making body on K-12 public schools, and its members serve without pay.

Kim joined Teach For America’s staff in 1999 after serving as a teacher corps member in New Orleans. She oversaw recruitment for the national organization until 2015, and also served as a school board member for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. She takes the place of Carolyn Pearre.

Ferguson is president and CEO of Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and president of Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals. He replaces Lonnie Roberts of Columbia.

The three have already started their five-year terms and duties on the State Board, although they still await confirmation by the full General Assembly.

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