Governor Dannel Malloy on Friday named the state's interim education commissioner, Dr. Dianna Wentzell, to the role permanently.
Wentzell is a former teacher with over 25 years of experience educating in Connecticut. She was appointed interim commissioner in January.
Malloy said he had become convinced that Wentzell would be the right person for the job after having proved herself as "effective leader." He praised the field of applicants in a statement, "all individuals of the highest integrity with a deep commitment to students and improving public education."
Wentzell said she is grateful for the opportunity. "Connecticut is home to incredible students, great teachers, and fantastic schools," she said in a statement. "Our graduation rates are climbing and achievement gaps are beginning to close. However, we have much more work to do to ensure that all students are afforded the opportunity and advantages of high expectations and a high-quality education."
Wentzell taught at Farmington High School and then at Irving A. Robbins Middle School in Farmington. She also taught sixth grade classes for a year in Islamabad, Pakistan. Later, she worked as an administrator in the East Haddam Public Schools system, at Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, for Capitol Region Education Council schools based in Hartford, for the South Windsor Public Schools, and Hartford Public Schools. She became Chief Academic Officer at the State Department of Education in 2013.