Carolyn Stanford Taylor, who Gov. Tony Evers appointed to replace him as state superintendent, announced today she will not seek a full term in 2021.

In her announcement, Stanford Taylor said she promised Evers she would commit to completing the final 2.5 years of his term as state superintendent, which he left following his election as guv.

Stanford Taylor said she made the announcement now to give those interested in running the state’s chief education agency sufficient time to organize their campaigns.

“Every child in this state deserves the chance, the opportunity, and the supports to become a success,” Stanford Taylor said. “This will only happen if we — educators, the governor, legislators, parents, and community members — work together to make sure every student has what they need to learn when they need it.”

Her decision not to run creates the first open DPI race since 2009. Evers, then the agency’s deputy superintendent, won the race that year to succeed two-term incumbent Libby Burmaster, who opted not to seek reelection.

Stanford Taylor, 62, plans to retire after her term is up in 2021, an agency spokesman said.

Prior to her appointment, she had served as assistant state superintendent for the Division of Learning Support. Stanford Taylor, who first joined DPI in 2001, was the first female African American to serve as an assistant state superintendent.

Evers praised Stanford Taylor as “a dedicated and thoughtful leader committed to ensuring that every kid has the opportunity to succeed.” He added she will be “an invaluable partner in helping to guide our next steps with an eye towards equity and inclusion” through the remainder of her term.

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