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Press release

CCSSO Releases Statement on Passing of Massachusetts Chief

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2017) - Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), released the following statement on the passing of Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester:

"I am deeply saddened by this sudden news. Mitchell has been a courageous and visionary leader on behalf of students for his entire career - as a teacher, principal, district leader, and then as the state chief in Massachusetts.  Mitchell also has been a pillar of the CCSSO community. We will miss his leadership and voice. Mitchell was incredibly passionate about children, and he would always bring the discussion back to whether we were helping kids, especially those children who need the most support. We have lost an incredible leader today, and I have lost a friend."

Chester served as Commissioner since 2008, and also served on CCSSO's Board of Directors for several years.


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The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.