In 2019, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be led by none other than former K-12 education commissioner Margie Vandeven. She was unanimously chosen Monday to lead the department of about 1,650 workers.

Missouri Education Commissioner Dr. Margie Vandeven

The Missouri Board of Education met behind closed doors Monday in Jefferson City. Members spent about nine hours interviewing finalists one by one and then made a decision.

Other finalists for the job included familiar faces. Interim commissioner Roger Dorson and Superintendent Eric Knost of Rockwood School District in St. Louis County were also in the running. The fourth candidate is unknown.

Vandeven says she was nominated for the job. The department head will earn an annual salary of about $200,000. She will work with 518 Missouri public school districts.

Tuesday’s announcement comes nearly one year after drama broke loose and five previous board members voted in favor of ousting Vandeven. The members, who are no longer serving, were appointed by former Gov. Eric Greitens with the intent of firing Vandeven.

Dorson had been leading the charge since Vandeven’s removal last year.

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