Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.02.2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces His Submission for Commissioner of Education

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has submitted the name of Johnny Key to the State Board of Education to act as the new Commissioner of Education and to serve as the administrative head of the Arkansas Department of Education.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Johnny Key: 

“I am extremely pleased to submit Johnny Key to act as the next Commissioner of the state Department of Education. Johnny has always exhibited a passion for improving education, from his work as a legislator who focused on educational issues to his current position as associate vice president for the University of Arkansas system.

“In the General Assembly, where he served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Johnny was noted for his leadership, consensus-building and bipartisan approach. We are lucky to have someone with his skill set as the next Education Commissioner, especially someone whose reputation is as impressive as his résumé.

“I also want to thank outgoing Commissioner Tony Wood for staying on during this transition and working hard for the people of Arkansas. His leadership has been invaluable.

“There may be no more important confirmation I make as governor than Education Commissioner, and I am fortunate that Johnny Key is willing and eager to take on the challenge of improving education for all Arkansans. I know he will do an outstanding job.”

Johnny Key issued the following statement:

"I am grateful to Governor Hutchinson for asking me to serve his administration and the people of Arkansas in this capacity, and I look forward to working with him, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education to lead Arkansas toward educational excellence.  

“I am confident that the 475,000 students of Arkansas can lead the nation in educational growth and achievement if all stakeholders - parents, teachers, administrators, communities, businesses, and state officials - hold high expectations and work in a cooperative and collaborative manner to meet those expectations.  I am excited to have the opportunity to promote that spirit of cooperation and collaboration."

Johnny Key began his service in the General Assembly in 2003.  He was a member of the Senate Education Committee from 2009 to 2014, including a term as chairman. He led the effort in 2013 to update the Arkansas public school choice law after it was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal judge.  Originally from Gurdon, Key is a 1991 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in chemical engineering.  He is currently the Associate Vice President for University Relations at the University of Arkansas System.