Schulte named interim commissioner of education in Missouri

Thursday, January 15, 2009 | 6:54 p.m. CST; updated 3:43 p.m. CST, Friday, January 16, 2009

This story has been changed to correct the first name of the late state education commissioner, D. Kent King.

COLUMBIA — The State Board of Education approved the appointment of Bert Schulte, former assistant superintendent for Columbia Public Schools, as the state’s top education official on Thursday.

Bert Schulte, 56, was appointed interim commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the board’s meeting in Jefferson City, according to a news release by the department.

He will temporarily fill the position of the late D. Kent King, who died Jan. 7.

King had served as commissioner since 2000.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to work on behalf of the kids of Missouri,” Schulte said. “The loss of Kent King has left a big void to fill.”

Schulte has spent 27 years in the public school system of mid-Missouri, including time in Hallsville, Jefferson City and Columbia.

“The primary reward is seeing the children succeed,” Schulte said.

He joined Columbia Public Schools in 1991 and served as assistant superintendent for 10 years. He has spent eight years with the state department, five of which were as deputy commissioner of education.

Schulte said it is a privilege to work with the schools and all the wonderful people involved in them. 

He and his wife, Debbie, reside in Columbia.

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