New commissioner of education named

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In a special meeting of the Colorado State Board of Education, Dwight Jones was appointed the next Colorado commissioner of education.

The board's vote to select Jones as the next commissioner was unanimous.

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"It is a great day for the State of Colorado," said Pamela Jo Suckla, chairwoman of the Colorado State Board of Education.

Jones will begin his duties as commissioner June 1. He succeeds William J. Maloney, who, after 10 years of service, announced his retirement Feb. 8.

"Dwight Jones has a proven track record for improving graduation rates and closing the achievement gap, two critical issues for every district in the state," Suckla said. "He knows firsthand the challenges facing Colorado schools. We all feel that Dwight has the leadership and vision necessary to spur reform and to oversee the improvements necessary to raise student performance."

Jones, 44 years old, has been the Superintendent of Fountain-Fort Carson District 8 since 2003, where he previously served as the district's assistant superintendent.

Before moving to Colorado, Jones served as operational vice president for Edison schools in Baltimore, Wichita and Kansas City.

In addition to having been an elementary and junior high school teacher, Jones also has worked in the role of principal in elementary, middle and high schools.

Gov. Bill Ritter expressed his support for the new commissioner.

"My administration has long recognized Dwight Jones' value to the Colorado education community, and I wholeheartedly endorse the board's decision."

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