Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Mo. Education Commissioner Dies of Brain Cancer

Missouri Commissioner of Education Kent King died at his home in Rolla on Wednesday of brain cancer.

King spent 44 years in education, including 10 years as Superintendent in Licking and in Rolla. He headed the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education since 2000.

"Because Georganne’s father, Hubert Wheeler, was the state’s first Education Commissioner, we have always felt a special kinship to public education in Missouri and to those who work so hard for its continued advancement. That certainly included Kent King, who played a great role as a leader of public education in our state. Missouri’s education community will miss Dr. King greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

"Melanie and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Commissioner Kent King. Dr. King was a dedicated public servant who committed his life and career to education, and always put the needs of students first. He was a valued member of my Cabinet who shared my belief that education should be the highest priority of state government. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. King’s family especially his wife Sandy, and his children and grandchildren.”

"Dr. King was only the fourth person to serve as commissioner of education since the office was created in 1945. His unwavering commitment to the people of Missouri and his desire for academic achievement was evident to all who met him.
Today, I express my sincere condolences to Kent’s wife, Sandy, and his entire family. Missouri’s schoolchildren will forever benefit from the impact that Dr. King has left."

King's funeral is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. in Rolla.

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